(rpting, updating toll)

Published: Friday, September 8, 2006, 20:40 [IST]

Nashik, Maharashtra, Sep 8 (UNI) In a gruesome terror attack in Maharashtra, nearly two months after the Mumbai serial blasts, at least 30 people were killed and 125 wounded in three explosions this afternoon in Malegaon, resulting in clashes which forced the authorities to impose curfew.

Agitated people clashed with the police in the aftermath of the blasts, which occurred on the occasion of Shab-e-Barat. Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil, who holds the Home portfolio, is camping in the town to monitor the situation.

Malegaon's Additional Superintendent of Police Anil Kumbhare confirmed two blasts, of low to medium intensity, which occurred one after the other at around 1345 hrs at Bada Kabristan and Mushrawat Chowk, in a radius of one km.

Chief Medical Officer of the town's government-run Wadia hospital Dr L N Chavan told UNI that ''more than 25 bodies have been brought to the hospital.'' A hospital source said 27 bodies were lying in the morgue.

Dr Chavan said about 125 wounded people, including many in critical condition, had been brought to the hospital but because of the ''chaos'' prevailing in the ill-equipped hospital in the immediate aftermath of the blasts, their relatives took them away for treatment elsewhere.

Police sources said the casualties would have gone up had two live bombs, found by a team of bomb disposal squad and forensic experts from the blast sites, also exploded.

Condemning the blasts, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed for peace and communal harmony and urged the people to remain calm.

The Prime Minister has been kept appraised by the Union Home Ministry and Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh about the blasts, a PMO spokesman said.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil condemned the blasts, saying they were meant to cause communal disturbances in the state. He has spoken to the political leadership of the state and would visit the sites tomorrow.

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