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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 September 2006, 05:07 GMT 06:07 UK
Indian town buries bomb victims
A victim of a bomb blast in India is buried
Victims were buried where they had prayed for the dead
Muslims in India have begun burying their relatives after bomb attacks near a mosque killed at least 37 people.

Police patrolled the city of Malegaon overnight, but a curfew was lifted on Saturday morning with no reports of any violent reaction to the attacks.

The city, north-east of Mumbai, has a history of riots between its Hindu minority and the Muslim majority.

Three bombs exploded near the mosque and a graveyard on a feast day when Muslims pray for the dead.

More than 125 others were hurt in the explosions. The hospital in the western Indian town said 20 of them were in a serious condition.

No group has said it planted the bombs, which were reported to have been attached to bicycles, and police have not named any suspects.

"There's a high alert across the state," said PS Pasricha, director-general of police in Maharashtra state.

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"The motive appears to be to create panic and make Hindus and Muslims fight with each other."

A message from the office of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he "appealed for peace and communal harmony".

Within 24 hours of the blasts, Muslims returned to the scene of the carnage to bury the victims in the mosque graveyard where they had earlier prayed for the dead.

Beggars killed

Survivors recalled the horror that followed the bomb attacks.

"People were stunned. There was blood all over," said Nadeem Shaikh.

"Children tried to run out and many were trampled. Many beggars waiting outside for alms were also killed," he told the Associated Press news agency
Wrecked bicycle after a bomb in India
There were reports that the bombs were attached to bicycles

At a city hospital Dr Saeed Farami said he had treated more than 40 patients through the night.

"Most of those who died had head injuries and others had abdomen, chest and face wounds," he said.

With many people critically injured there are fears that the death toll could rise.

Sectarian tension

The blasts came days after Prime Minister Singh told the country there were intelligence warnings of attacks.

Only two months ago a series of explosions killed more than 180 people on the train networks of Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra state.

Muslim-majority Malegaon, which has a population of about 500,000 and a large community of weavers, is a town with a history of communal rioting.

Earlier this year, the police recovered a large cache of arms and explosives from the area.

In October 2001, violence in protest at the US attacks on Afghanistan left a total of 12 people dead in the town.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Mourners attend the victims' funerals



SEE ALSO
In pictures: India blasts
08 Sep 06 |  In Pictures
Eyewitness: Blast carnage in Malegaon
08 Sep 06 |  South Asia
Indian town tense after protest
29 Oct 01 |  South Asia
Anti-US protesters killed in India
27 Oct 01 |  South Asia

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