NEW DELHI (Reuters) - At least five bombs exploded in the heart of India's capital New Delhi on Saturday, killing at least three people and injuring more than 20 others, local television said. Police and witnesses said two went off in dustbins in and around Connaught Place, a shopping and dining area popular with tourists and locals in the centre of the city. Others exploded in busy markets around the city, within minutes of each other.
"The blasts were caused by bombs," Rajan Bhagat, Delhi police spokesman said. One exploded in a newly constructed park in the centre of the Connaught Place roundabout, built above one of the main stations of the Delhi Metro. Another went off in a dustbin near a metro station entrance on a main arterial road leading into the area.
"Around 6:30 pm we heard a very loud noise, then we saw people running all over the place," said Chanchal Kumar, a witness whose shirt was soaked in blood of several victims he had helped shift into ambulances.
"There were about 100-200 people around this place," he said, adding the blast site was crowded. Other injured people were carried away in police vans while a three-wheeler auto-rickshaw parked near one dustbin was badly damaged, witnesses said.
"It was a huge blast," said another witness, Sanjeev Gole. "I was around the corner from the road. I came running down and I saw at least four to five people lying on the road."
Bhagat said at least 20 people had been injured but said police were still collecting details. Broadcasts showed the aftermath of the explosion in the Ghaffar Market area of Karol Bagh, which is a busy area full of electronics shops and is packed at weekends.
Badly damaged cars with windows shattered and mangled motorbikes could be seen along with personal belongings, some of them bloodstained, and abandoned shoes.
Wounded people were shown being carried away by rescuers at one site, one leaving a trail of blood on the ground. Hundreds of people milled around the site of the explosions as police tried to cordon off the area. India has suffered a wave of bombings in recent years, with targets ranging from mosques and Hindu temples to trains.
India says it suspects militant groups from Pakistan and Bangladesh are behind many of the attacks. In July, at least 45 people were killed after a series of bombs ripped through Ahmedabad, the main city of the western state of Gujarat. The attack came a day after bombs killed one woman in the IT hub of Bangalore.
Police suspect members of the banned Students' Islamic Movement of India were involved in those blasts, but it has also pointed the finger at militant groups from Pakistan and Bangladesh for many of the attacks.
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