6 Suspects in Islamist Bombing of Buddhist Temple
Indian investigators are looking for six suspects in the bomb attack against Mahabodhi Temple on Sunday morning. Two monks were wounded in the attack.
Mahabodhi Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in Bodh Gaya, which Buddhists see as the most important of the main four pilgrimage sites related to the life of Buddha.
A team of Gaya district officials and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) are spearheading the probe into the blasts that ripped through the temple.
According to NDTV, police sources said six suspects, including a woman, have been spotted in CCTV footage by investigators. Investigators are scanning footage from the 15 CCTV cameras located in the temple premises.
A bomb analysis report has revealed “startling similarities” between the Bodh Gaya explosions and blasts five years ago at Jaipur and Ahmedabad, allegedly carried out by the Indian Mujahideen.
One of the bombs was placed 20 feet high atop a statue of Buddha, forensic analysts said yesterday.
Islamists are notoriously hostile towards other religions' holy sites.
In Israel, Muslim vandals have repeatedly desecrated Jewish holy sites including the Tomb of Joseph in Shechem, among others, and have destroyed countless artefacts on Judaism's holiest site, the Temple Mount, in what experts warn is an attempt at "Islamifying" the site.
Christians have been driven out of Bethlehem and other formerly Christian population centres areas in Judea and Samaria since the Oslo Accords. In Egypt, the rise of Islamism led to large scale persecution of the country's Coptic Christians.
In an infamous incident, in March 2001 the Buddhas of Bamiyan, two 6th century monumental statues of standing buddha carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley in the Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan, were dynamited and destroyed by the Taliban, on orders from leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, after the Taliban government declared that they were idols.