Bishops Decry Triple Bombing in Mumbai

Rush Hour Blasts Leave 17 Dead, 140 Injured

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MUMBAI, India, JULY 14, 2011 ( The bishops of India are expressing their solidarity and closeness to the victims of a triple bombing that took place Wednesday during rush hour in Mumbai, which left at least 17 dead and 140 injured.

The bombs exploded in three crowded areas of the city during heavy rainfall, including the Zaveri Bazaar, a jewelry market. No group has come forward to claim responsibility for the blasts, which constitute the deadliest attack on the city since 15 gunmen killed some 166 people in 2008.

The Indian Council of Bishops of the Western Region, which was meeting in Mumbai, observed a minute of silence upon hearing of the attacks, reports Fides news agency. The council also dedicated a Mass to the victims, praying «for all families who are in mourning and in pain.»

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the archbishop of Bombay, stated in a short message posted on the archdiocese’s Web site that the «Church of Mumbai strongly condemns these acts of terror.»

The note said that all the bishops offer «their condolences to the family members of those who have lost their lives. The Christian community assures our prayers for the victims for strength to their families. All our Catholic institutions are available for assistance.

«In solidarity with the citizens of Mumbai we pray that the spirit of love, peace, harmony and unity prevails all over — in our city and our country, so that such incidents never recur.»

Auxiliary Bishop Agnelo Rufino Gracias of Bombay told Fides that Mumbai «is shaken. We are very saddened by the loss of many lives and the attack against innocent victims.»

«We condemn all forms of violence, especially against the innocent,» he added. «The terrorists have chosen places with large gatherings of people to make a high number of victims. It is a human tragedy for many people and for many families.»

The aim of the terrorists, he continued, «is to create fear and instability. But we must not allow this. […] We will not allow these dark forces to get a foothold, we will not be paralyzed and violence will not triumph.»

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