Varanasi blast: At least 20 injured at Sheetla Ghat

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Varanasi: At least 20 people have been injured in a blast on the ghats of Varanasi. Police say at least 4 people - including a foreigner - suffered serious injuries. The police has not confirmed reports of people dying in the incident.

Home Ministry sources have told NDTV that it was a low-intensity blast injuring about 7 people in. A railing broke during the stampede that followed, injuring another 15-20 people.

PTI reports an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) has been recovered from a dustbin at the blast site.

The explosion took place at Sheetla Ghat where the daily aarti or prayers are offered. The explosion reportedly took place just as the aarti finished.

Eyewitness reports suggest the blast took place around 6:25 pm. There were at least 5000 people at the ghats to watch the aarti, which begins at 5:40 pm everyday.

Reports suggest a blast radius of 150 metres, and a major tragedy was averted because the blast occurred some distance away from where the aarti was taking place.

The police has been put on high-alert in all towns and cities of Uttar Pradesh. Top police officials met in the state capital, Lucknow. Security in Delhi, Mumbai , Hyderabad and Bangalore has also been stepped up after the blasts. (Read: Security in Delhi stepped up)

Briefing the media, Additional Director General of Police Brij Lal said the top police officials and the bomb disposal squad are at the spot. The police say its too early to confirm who or what caused the blast. Prima facie evidence suggests that the explosives were kept on the steps of the ghat.[/img]
 
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