HYDERABAD, India – Christian aid workers, doctors and medical staffs rushed Saturday to Hyderabad where more than 40 people were killed and over 120 injured when two simultaneous blasts rocked a crowded park in the city.
The bombs, which officials suspect Islamic militants to be behind, were packed with metal pellets and exploded within minutes of each other – one at a food center and another at an amusement park.
The Catholic Archbishop of Hyderabad, Monsignor Marampudi Joji, condemned the blasts and called on all Christian doctors and nurses to work all throughout the night.
"The Church of Hyderabad condemns this terrorist attack in the strongest possible terms. It is horrendous that elements can unleash such a horrific wave of terror on innocent citizens. These bomb blasts are an act of cowardice," said Joji to a Christian news agency.
Churches in the city were asked to be on high alert and to continuously pray for the blast victims and for the people in the city.
Hyderabad, the capital city of India’s Andhra Pradesh state, has a large Muslim population and has a history of communal clashes between Hindus and Muslims, making Saturday’s attacks more than likely to be religiously motivated.
Although Andhra Pradesh – the third most populous state in India with 76.2 million people – is 80 percent Hindu, 9 percent Muslim and 4 percent Christian, Muslims make up 40 percent of the capital city’s population.
No one has taken the responsibility for Saturday’s attacks in the city. However, central security agencies have alleged the banned Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami militant outfit of Bangladesh to be behind the twin blasts.