Three bomb blasts rocked India’s largest city, Mumbai, in congested areas during the evening rush hour Wednesday, killing at least 21 people and injuring more than 100 others.
Prithviraj Chavan, Maharashtra state’s chief minister, said it was too early to talk about suspects but at least one of the apparently coordinated blasts was “quite powerful.” He warned the death toll could rise.
Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram called the explosions a “coordinated attack by terrorists” and appealed for calm as Mumbai residents voiced anger at the government because their city has been a repeated target for terror.
Forensic experts and security forces using sniffer dogs pored over the bloody scenes, looking for evidence. Dazed survivors were comforted and police hosed down burning debris in the streets.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik said at one scene, an improvised-explosive device was placed in an umbrella near a motorcycle.
The area in Dadar is near a train station used by millions of commuters. On July 11, 2006, a series of seven explosions killed at least 174 people on crowded Mumbai commuter trains and stations.
The U.N. Security Council condemned the terrorist attacks. The United States offered its “full support and assistance to India” and was monitoring the situation, the State Department said.
U.S. President Barack Obama, who visited Mumbai last year and signed a condolence book for the victims of the 2008 attack, condemned Wednesday’s attack.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to travel to New Delhi and Chennai next week, but her spokesman said there were no immediate plans to alter her travel plans. Clinton “will have an opportunity to re-affirm our commitment to the U.S.-India partnership when she travels there next week,” Mark Toner said.
As in past attacks, the blasts Wednesday targeted congested areas. Mumbai police blamed makeshift bombs and told CNN’s sister network CNN-IBN that one was left in a car; another in a motorcycle.