Friday, September 08, 2006

Internecine Bombing?

The most recent attack in India seems to have killed at least 30.

The natural assumption to make here, since the victims were primarily Muslims at prayer, is that the blast was a tit-for-tat retaliation, presumably by Hindu extremists, for the Mumbai bombings in July, but there are curious details which give one pause. A previous explosives find in Malegaon was made by means of evidence obtained from arrested Islamic militants. Malegaon is about three quarters Muslim, so it seems unlikely that the local Hindus would court a riot by attempting violence there, and it seems likely that out-of-towners of any sort would have stood out as well.

Maleagaon also has a history of Muslim violence, dating back to the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in the U.S.

If this were "green on green" violence, then the follow-up questions which I cannot answer would be:

1) Was this factional--were the target congregants known for some doctrinal dispute with other Muslims in the area; and

2) Was this a provocation by extremists hoping to spark another riot and possible overreaction by the authorities?

The authorities, as is typical in cases of sectarian violence within India, are close-mouthed.

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