At least eight explosions rocked Mahabodhi temple complex in Bodh Gaya in Bihar this morning, injuring at least five people, including 2 monks out of which one is in critical condition.
The Union Home Ministry confirmed that it was a terror attack.
Speaking about the explosions, Minister of State for Home Affairs RPN Singh termed it as an “extremely unfortunate incident, confirming that teams of NIA and NSG had been rushed.
Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh strongly condemned the blasts, saying, "Our composite culture and traditions teach us respect for all religions and such attacks on religious places will never be tolerated."
The Superintendent of Police of the area said that two live bombs were also recovered at the spot.
According to reports, intelligence inputs had been given to the state government about a possible threat to the Mahabodhi temple, following which the security was stepped up in the area.
The Mahabodhi Temple is frequented by Buddhist pilgrims from Sri Lanka, China and Japan and the whole of southeast Asia.
Chief Incumbent of the Buddhagaya Centre in Mahabodhi, Venerable Hakurugammana Saddathissa Thera expressed these views regarding the attack.
Meanwhile, President Mahinda Rajapaksa upon hearing about bomb blast that had taken place near the Mahabodhi Viharaya of Buddhagaya has telephoned the Viharaya and enquired about the incident and the safety of the Maha Sangha in the Viharaya.
President expressed his deepest concern about the incident and has given instructions to the relevant sections on steps to be taken in this connection and to ensure protection to the Viharaya and the members of Maha Sangha in the Viharaya.
No Sri Lankan has been injured by the blasts.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage the Mahabodhi Temple in Bihar has come under attack despite the stringent security measures in place.
Previously extremist groups had issued threats that Bodhgaya would be attacked.
According to Indian media the veracity of these attacks had been confirmed by Indian intelligence.
However at present the Mahabodhi Temple has been temporarily closed for visitors in lieu of investigations.