Blasts at one of Buddhism's holiest sites have left at least two injured, drawing stark condemnation from the Indian premier. The Mahabodhi Temple complex is the place where Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment.
A series of bombs exploded in Bodh Gaya, a Buddhist site which attracts millions of pilgrims from around the globe each year.
Authorities reported four blasts on the grounds of the Mahabodhi Temple complex early Sunday, followed by four more at a nearby temple. The final bomb detonated at the base of an 80-foot-tall (25-meter) statue of Buddha.
The blasts were low intensity, according to senior police official S.K. Bharadwaj, who added that two live bombs were later defused.
One Tibetan and one Myanmar national sustained injuries and had been taken to the hospital.
With the exception of a gate at one of the temples, none of the structures were heavily damaged in the attack.
The UNESCO-protected site lies roughly 110 kilometers (68 miles) south of the Bihar state capital, Patna. Buddhists believe Buddha attained enlightenment while seated under the Bodhi Tree in 531 BC. The temples built on the site date from between the 6th and 3rd centuries BC, including one of the oldest Buddhist temples ever constructed.
No individual or terrorist group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Indian government classified the bombing as an act of terror. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh denounced the violence, vowing that "such attacks on religious places will never be tolerated."
Intelligence officials reportedly warned the local administration last month of a terrorist threat on the pilgrimage site.
kms/rc (AFP, AP, dpa)