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Last Updated: Friday, 23 November 2007, 12:06 GMT
Fatal triple bomb attack in India
Injured man in Varanasi
At least 22 people were injured in Varanasi
Three near-simultaneous bomb blasts have killed 13 people in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP), the state government says.

Nine people were killed in the holy city of Varanasi, UP Chief Minister Mayawati told journalists, and four in the city of Faizabad.

The other attack was in the state capital, Lucknow.

There have been a number of bomb attacks in India this year, which have left well over 100 people dead.

'Intelligence failure'

Reports said the blasts occurred within five minutes of each other, near or outside local courts.


Police have described the explosion at the Faizabad court as a "powerful" one.

A senior police officer said the blast in Lucknow was "minor". However, police in the city say they found another, more powerful bomb with a timing device that did not explode.

At least 22 people were injured in the Varanasi blast and 14 hurt in Faizabad.

India's junior home minister, Sriprakash Jaiswal, said he believed Friday's blasts were "the handiwork of groups who are trying to spread terror in our country."

UP Chief Minister Mayawati said there was no prior warning about the attacks. She described them as a "failure of federal intelligence agencies".

Little headway

In October a blast in a cinema in Punjab province killed six people.

Lawyers survey the damage in Lucknow
Lawyers survey the damage in Lucknow

Over 60 people were killed after a bomb attack aboard a train travelling from India to Pakistan near Panipat, north of the capital, Delhi, in February.

In May, at least nine people were killed in a bomb explosion at a historic mosque in the southern city of Hyderabad.

At least 42 people were killed in a series of blasts in two locations in Hyderabad in August.

And in October, a bomb attack on a famous Muslim shrine in the city of Ajmer, in Rajasthan, killed two people.

Many of these blasts were blamed on local terror groups, but the police has largely been unable to make much headway in the investigations, correspondents say.

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