At least 50 people have died after two powerful explosions have rocked the commercial capital of India, Mumbai, also known as Bombay, on Monday.
More than 130 others have been injured, many seriously according to the police and hospital reports.
The Indian authorities say they are linking bomb explosions to continuing religious tensions in the state of Gujarat.
One of the blasts happened near the historic Gateway of India monument, a crowded tourist attraction in the heart of the city.
The other explosion occurred near a Hindu temple in a busy market area of Mumbai.
Have you been affected by the explosions? Send us your reactions to the blasts.
The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:
This debate is now closed. Read your comments below.
The Muslim-Hindu secular problem are merely a symptom of a much deeper problem in India (and, for that matter, Pakistan and Bangladesh). Various Indian governments have, through the years, tried various appeasement techniques when dealing with inter-community issues, instead of applying one law for everyone in the country...which is what "secular" really means.
The proliferation of Islamic terrorist groups worldwide has made it almost impossible to keep such disputes strictly within the country, as they are seized upon by such terrorist groups, who exploit the fears of ordinary Muslims.
Tragedy! How do these extremists expect to achieve their goals by slaughtering innocent people. Mumbai is a long way from Kashmir! Nobody wants another Palestine... Obviously both sides have taken lives, but this cycle will not lead to an independent Kashmir.
Those who would like to place the blame of terrorism on the US in general, and Pres Bush in particular are missing a bit of history. Terrorism has been "alive and well" as a form of social revolt since the evolution of civilization. While I agree that Bush has made an impact in the geopolitical realm, he no more caused terrorism than Dan Quale invented the internet.
It's deplorable that already politicians have started pointed fingers at other countries and blaming each other. Why, for once, after such a horrific disaster, can't the politicians put their agendas aside and stand together. Why can't they show the public the leadership that's now required. Why must they make differences? The Indian public, the Mumbai public need to stand together, and force any politician who tries to force his/her agendas out of this tragedy, to stand down! My condolences to those affected. Peace to India.
Ali, United Kingdom
Neither a temple nor a mosque built on the disputed site will solve this issue. Hindus and Muslims have to come together and donate the land for building a charity house or a hospital for the poor. This will show the world real unity and strength lies in helping the needy and not fighting over the name of religion or God. My heartfelt condolences to the victims.
This is deplorable. Mumbai has to once again bear the brunt. Our incapable leaders find a good scapegoat in Pakistan. I just hope this does not create panic within the citizens and Mumbai shows its true spirit of being the strongest city in India.
These kinds of attacks are impossible to prevent. Police intelligence could prevent some, but most will succeed given the peculiar socio-economic conditions prevailing in third world. Does this mean there is nothing that could be done? No, there would be actions that can be taken, including swift justice to guilty and more thorough intelligence, but the main weapon to derail such groups will be to make them irrelevant by political action, economic forces and by public outcry. Witness the speed with which Mumbai resumed normal operations.
The Muslim community in India can set an example to the rest of the world, by donating the land for building a temple in Ayodhya. By this action, they will not only forever bury the ghosts of communal strife in India, but will also demonstrate to the world that Islam is a magnanimous religion and not a fundamental religion. The Hindus on their part can show their magnanimity by donating the land for building a large hospital for the poor. God dwells in the minds and heart of people, and would not want to dwell in a temple or mosque which is built from the blood and tears of humans.
There is no question, there is an international element which has as its goal the destruction of anything which is not in agreement with some of the Islamic fundamentalists. These individuals, who are bent to destruct the very basic infra-structures civilized man has built, must be stopped. Religious fundamentalism of any religion must be scrutinized and its leaders closely guarded. The fact that the West permits Israel to occupy Arab lands has caused a major backlash against everything closely linked to the US. It may be a co-incidence that most bombings and other terrorist activities started when Bush Jnr came to power!
While we should wait for the investigations to get to the bottom of the bombings, I'd like to bring up the double standards India faces in its war on terrorism. When attacks occur on Israeli or American targets, they're able to retaliate forcefully. But a similar action by India would be condemned by the world community. The terrorist policy of bleeding India will never work...just witness the queues of blood donors that formed immediately after the bombings. One would think that years of relentless but unsuccessful terrorist attacks would drive home the point that democracies such as India are meant to last because they're inherently based on a solid foundation.
Now is the time for all Indians to display their famed religious tolerance. Politicians and rabble rousers will use this opportunity to stoke communal flames of hatred among the Hindu's . All Indian's must desist from falling into this obvious trap and show the world that we are truly the most tolerant, multi-religious country in the world. Throughout the world, Mahatma Gandhi's name is synonymous with non-violence and it is time that India carried forth this message again to the entire world.
The Indian political leadership is surely to blame for this attack. Instead of taking a bi-partisan approach to solve sensitive issues like Ayodhya and Gujrat, Indian politicians have always tried to take political mileage out of such incidents; India comes first and then political parties. Get to work and arrest/kill the culprits regardless of their religious affiliation. Make political agendas based on economics, education and foreign policies, not at the cost of people's lives. Who's listening?
Despite the panic caused by these atrocious bomb blasts the people of Mumbai kept their heads on their shoulders. Help was at hand for everyone from everyone; the local people and the police too. The local people rushed out to hospitals donate blood as soon as the news spread. Kudos to this spirit of Mumbai!
It only goes to show that the communal hatred is not an issue with common people. God bless.
It's a tragedy that this has happened in the midst of the peace talks. I think we should not play into the hands of these mindless extremists who wish to throw everyone into a state of chaos. I think the peace talks need to continue. My sincere condolences to anyone who has been affected by the blasts. God bless India.
We have the best chance for 50 years of having a lasting peace between India and Pakistan. Let's not point fingers and bomb people willy-nilly. BBC2 showed Gandhi over the weekend, and it reaffirmed my belief that fighting fire with fire just causes more fire. His stance of fighting the British by peaceful means bought about the fall of the greatest empire the world has seen. It's all too easy to get violent with these despicable terrorists who are deplored by Muslims the world over. Let's go back to Gandhi's stance, Hindus and Muslims unite and stand in the face of terror together and fight it peacefully.
Ali, United Kingdom
I think these explosions are in retaliation to the riots that occurred with tacit official complicity in Gujarat. This cycle of violence will continue until India elects responsible politicians to public office.
V Nandakumar, India
In the land of Mahatma Gandhi it is indeed shocking that such religious extremism, of both the Hindu and Muslim variety, has been allowed to propagate to such an extent. There can be no question of India turning into a Hindu rashtra, this situation would be the death of India as we know it. I pray Hindus can show tolerance and forgiveness for this attack, and appreciate that, unlike other nations, that this act signifies problems that exist between communities in our own country and an introspective look at our inter-religious relationships is needed. I also hope it remembers that an eye for an eye can only turn the world blind.
Raj Thapar, UK
Having lived in Bombay in the 60s and 70s, and later on in the middle 80s, and loved the city, I feel sorry that these things have started to happen, but this is reality and we in India have to brace up to it. Cry my beautiful city.
Being a Kashmiri and Pakistani I just want to say how appalled and sickened I am by this recent terrorist outrage. Like India, Pakistan is also a victim of terrorism. As the Quetta Mosque Massacre will testify. These cowardly terrorists are just out to derail the peace process. Let India and Pakistan work together towards peace and unity. Don't let these murderers have their way. Both India and Pakistan have so much to look forward too. Let's not play into the hands of these individuals.
Mo Shah, Birmingham
Very sad to see and hear the plight of secular country like India going through such a situation. My sincere grief to all the family who lost the innocent members meanwhile let us re-think about the politicians who brought India to such a drastic and pathetic situation. Remember we all are one as Indians not as any religious personalities. Let us remove all communalism from our mind and live harmoniously. Let our political leaders also live and instigate our people accordingly.
Pappy George, Kuwait
Life is life; it's no different in Bombay or in New York. Life should not be made cheaper from one place to other. Imagine the strongest country would do if such an incident happens on its commercial capital. Indian government must act tough and it should punish all those who had involved in killing those innocent lives and attempting to ignite instability around the country. God bless India.
Srikanth, India, USA
Yet again Muslim extremists target innocent civilians and yet again Muslims everywhere fail to state their unqualified condemnation of these people. How can anyone support or believe in a religion that breeds such hatred of other creeds.
Pam Malarry, UK
When such a thing happens in Israel, Israel retaliates and kills terrorist leaders from helicopters. Why doesn't India do the same? By not taking any action, they encourage more terrorism. India and Israel are infected with the same virus. The world should join hands and recognise the need for a real global fight against terrorism. Justice for the dead please.
Stay the course. The extremists fear the rapprochement between India and Pakistan. Bend over backwards before blaming average Indian Muslim: see the victim list! All are Indians before they are Hindus or Muslims!
J Thakrar, USA
The killings of innocent civilians are highly condemnable; either it happens in Bombay, in Gujrat or in Kashmir. I think social justice and tolerance can decrease such tragic incidents. My hearty condolences to those who lost their loved ones.
Saif Ullah, Pakistan
My sympathies with the people of Mumbai, who did nothing, as individuals, or as a nation, to justify this outrage. This, and the UN bombing last week, bring into focus the truth - terrorists will always find a "perceived wrong" to justify their atrocities. Our answer must be to go after the terrorists, rather than fool ourselves into thinking we can correct these "wrongs".
Let's just pray India doesn't react the way America did after 9/11 by bombing more innocent people. Nothing justifies such a blatant massacre.
This explosion has raised two concerns: the retaliation against Indian Muslims, and against Pakistan. Whatever occurs in India or Pakistan, it is always the other country that is blamed. Even though this is the time to mourn the deaths of so many, I feel we have more carnage in store under the umbrella of "revenge".
Hamza Sheikh, USA
I am a resident of Mumbai. I am totally shocked by these incidents and strongly condemn this cowardly act of terrorism but #i request to all fellow citizens of Mumbai and India that for god's sake please don't stage any "Bandhs" as it will only serve the purpose of the coward terrorists to destabilise the country.
Deepak Sankhla, India
It was really a shock when in the afternoon we hared about the blast in our office. Suddenly everyone starts calling their dear ones to find their wellbeing and the telephone line gets overloaded. It seemed the terrorists knew the result of the ASI( Archeological Survey of India) report and were just waiting for this moment. I don't know if tomorrow can be a normal day.
Kaushik Vishwakarma, Mumbai / India
Act of terrorism, should be condemned whether it happens in Pakistan, India or elsewhere.
India and Pakistan should work together to get rid of these acts, and if it is home-grown we should nip that evil sooner than later.
May God, the Almighty bless the innocents who are dead in this act of cowardice.
This was a highly condemnable act, a great tragedy. I hope that the terrorists behind this are caught and brought to justice. I also hope that this does not trigger any tensions between Hindus and Muslims. Mumbai thrives on business; hopefully that attitude will ensure its survival.
Once again India has become the victim of a nefarious terrorist attack. I wonder when we in the West will stop applying double standards to terrorism - evil when it hurts our interests, and self-inflicted in the case of countries like India. Whatever became of Mr. Bush's famed "international coalition against terrorism"?
Blast like these will not stop the die hard Bombaities to go on with their life. As India goes on the path to be globally strong, politically and economically, more and more terrorists and acts like these will try to act as a hurdle in the path of success. And as usual... Bombay will stand up on its feet and "Rise Again".
Clyde Joseph, India
As long as terrorism and suicide bombing wont be condemned by the entire world, it will continue to be legitimized way of combat by eyes of few distorted persons, and the results are dead civilians and diminish of trust between humans. Terrorism and suicide bombing should be labelled as CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY, without exception, this is true in Bombay as in Baghdad and in Jerusalem.
Uri D, Israel
Yes i got affected.
This is an act of terrorism, killing innocent people. I can say truth will prevail, whoever is he, he has to pay for it . People who kill innocents can't be freedom fighters, they are only devils. and those who name them as a freedom fighter, they are big devils. God Bless My Lovely India.
Why don't these people make a mosque and a temple side by side? Why don't their leaders become wise enough to convince their people that this issue is not worth so many lives that have been and would be wasted in this ridiculous cause?
M. Ali Abbas, USA, Pakistan
Explosions in Mumbai are quite often these days. When I heard about today's explosions I was stunned as target people are either devotes or tourists.
Some of them were thrown in to Sea because of the explosion. I lived in Mumbai it is very difficult in identifying who has done this. The underworld of Mumbai is closely netted with terrorist groups.
Today's incident comes at the time of ASI (Archaeological Society of India) report of some temple structures beneath grounded Babri Masjid which can make a case of temple building at the site. I pray god to give the strength to the relatives of the victims.
With Pakistan moving swiftly to condemn this bombing, it can only be hoped that a positive outcome will be a constructive dialogue between India and Pakistan, removing the leverage for self interested groups to play them off against each other.
Barry B, UK
One has to consider the terrorist attacks similar to road and rail accidents, earthquakes and other natural disasters, because it has come to be a part of our lives. A couple of decades back these events were rare, but today it is a daily occurrence. It is the highest priority for the news media and gets wide coverage. Thus meeting the very objectives of those indulging in these wanton killings
Mon Chandy, India
These kind of acts are to condemned but while considering the Gujarath incident this is nothing.
For building Temple or mosque, innocent people are getting killed. God never say to do this unwanted idiocy.
Let's wait for the results of the investigations. No one should se charged till the end of the investigations.
8 blasts in as many months is just too much to deal for any city in the world. It is time the government act more seriously in eliminating such attacks on civilians. I hope these blasts won't lead to any more sectarian clashes. God bless India.
India (From Hungary)
Really it is sad for all who lost their beloved ones. It is every one's responsibility to fight against terror who ever it may be which ever the country it be, by god's grace there, we will pray there will not be such incidents in future.
I think it's a wake up call for India to act tough.
This is a terrible tragedy, inhuman and condemnable by all peace loving people of the world
Rajeev Jacob, Kuwait
Baffling: Definitely handiwork of religious fanatics as Barbri Masjid-Ram temple dispute unfolds. Why India, Pakistan are set to destroy each other? Berlin Wall is down and its time for India-Pakistan-Bangladesh to come together for humanity needs a better deal.
In their quest to build a place of worship (Hindu or Muslim) innocent lives are lost. Is Ayodya a place for worship or an altar of sacrifice for the Gods to feed on the blood of innocent lives? Is it worth building a temple or a mosque after so many deaths....the gods must indeed be cruel to demand such a huge sacrifice for their glory!!
Indian government should take necessary steps to catch the culprits and bring them to justice. If some countries and harbouring those terrorists they have to pressurise them to hand them over, just like what USA did after 9/11.
Mahesh Sharma, Canada
I feel that this was a very sad thing to happen!! Just when we see the City growing and people treating each other with respect it crumbles in this way, I feel we should fight against this and put an end to terrorism.
Merzi , Dubai UAE
It's unfortunate, that India started witnessing the same situation as in Israel and Palestine where both the sides have decided to fight each other till they see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Not more than a week or so ago I was staying in the Taj Mahal Hotel overlooking the 'Gateway to India' and the Independence Day celebrations in front of it with kids chasing the multitudes of pigeons and people generally having a good time. Now it's the scene of death and destruction..... how very, very sad.
Richard, Dubai, U.A.E.
If this blast is related to the Ayodha Temple site issue then it is a shame that people have to die for the building of a temple or a mosque (whatever they decide to build there). Why don't they build a school or a hospital there which both Hindus & Muslims can use rather than just fighting over a piece of land.
Sadiq Parker, Kuwait
I feel very sad for those who lost their loved ones in the Blast.
We should be united at this point of time and pray for peace.
Janaki Rama Raju,
Creating panic by terrorising and killing innocent people is the worst way to make any point on any issue whatsoever. Not only should the blast be condemned, but also made sure that such people are not lost in the tentacles of a painfully slow judicial system. The culprits should be made to pay maximum penalty for such shameful acts of cowardice.
It is completely unnerving to even think of the victims of the blast.
I sincerely hope that these latest series of bomb blasts, do not provoke wide spread retaliation against the muslim community. Wiser counsel has prevailed in similar such recent occasions ,and the normally pragmatic Mumbaikar should do well not to fall in to the trap laid by the nefarious forces, which are intent on tearing apart the nations secular fabric.
Every bomb, and every death, irrecoverably scars us all.