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India: Suspected Bomb Blast at Christian Prayer Meeting in Kerala

A suspected bomb burst occurred during a Christian prayer meeting in Kerala, India's southernmost state.

A suspected bomb blast occurred during a Christian prayer meeting in the southern state of Kerala, India, leading to the loss of two lives and causing injuries to over 35 individuals, as reported by the police on Sunday.

Congregation of Thousands:

The incident unfolded during a three-day gathering of Jehovah’s Witnesses, with over 2,000 attendees, held at the Zamra International Convention Centre in Kalamassery, near the port city of Kochi.

The blast rocked the convention center at approximately 9:40 a.m. (0410 GMT), causing significant damage and resulting in one immediate fatality. 

The Director General of Police of Kerala, Darvesh Saheb, confirmed that 36 individuals received medical treatment for their injuries.

Ongoing Investigation:

Authorities are devoted to uncovering the truth behind the incident and taking appropriate action. Preliminary investigations reveal that the explosion was caused by an improvised explosive device (IED).

A man presented himself to the police after sharing a video message on social media, which was subsequently broadcast on television channels.

In the video, he claimed to be a former church member who had developed disagreements with its beliefs.

Police Response:

Local law enforcement agencies are closely examining the individual’s claims and the motivations behind his actions, as reported by The Times of India.

The Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency indicated that at least three “blasts” occurred within the convention center, further highlighting the severity of the incident.

Christian Minority in India:

India’s Christian population comprises around two percent of the country’s 1.4 billion people, according to the last census conducted in 2011.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses community in India numbers nearly 60,000, according to information available on the church’s website.

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