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Sunday, September 14

Clark condemns India bombings

Prime Minister Helen Clark has condemned a series of terrorist bombings in India's capital New Delhi.

Indian police today said 20 people were killed and close to 100 injured in a string of co-ordinated bomb attacks that ripped through busy shopping areas of the city last night.

The blasts last night struck five crowded areas within 45 minutes, and were claimed by a Muslim militant group calling itself the Indian Mujahideen.

The group is also believed to be behind a series of bomb blasts in Ahmedabad in July and in Jaipur in May this year.

Miss Clark condemned the attacks.

"The actions of these extremists are all the more cowardly, coming in a busy week ahead of both Hindu and Muslim festivals."

New Zealand 's Governor-General, Anand Satyanand, and his wife are in India on the last day of an inaugural six-day state visit.

Miss Clark said she had asked Mr Satyanand to convey the condolences of the Government and people of New Zealand .

"Our Governor-General's visit has underlined the strong bonds between India and New Zealand . We extend our sympathy to India at this sad time.

She would also write to her Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh to express New Zealand 's sadness at the attacks.

New Zealand officials were liaising with Indian authorities and it was not believed any New Zealanders were injured in the attacks.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs current travel advisory for India tells New Zealanders to maintain a high level of vigilance in respect of their personal security.

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