A file picture of security forces in India. EFE/EPA/FILE/FAROOQ KHAN

At least one dead, 36 injured in explosion at Christian gathering in India

New Delhi, Oct 29 (EFE).- At least one person was killed and another 36 injured on Sunday in an explosion during a meeting at a convention center of a Christian organization in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

“There was an explosion at Zamra International Convention & Exhibition Centre in which one person died and 36 persons are undergoing treatment,” Kerala’s Director General of Police, Shaik Darvesh, told reporters.

The explosion took place around 9.40am local time, when the regional convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses was being held, the official said.

Several local media, citing witnesses, said there was more than one explosion, although these were minor.

Teams from the National Investigation Agency were on their way to the area to launch an investigation into the incident, of which further details remain unknown.

“The central agencies have already started the inquiry regarding this incident. I am sure that they will go to the details of the incident and find out who and what are the reasons for this and who are behind this incident,” Minister of State for External Affairs, V. Muraleedharan, told the media.

Initial preliminary investigations reveal the explosion was the result of the detonation of an improvised explosive device, according to India’s PTI news agency.

Footage aired by local media showed plumes of smoke and inside the building as a group moved flaming chairs with their bare hands to ensure no one was trapped.

“The incident of the bomb blast in a prayer meeting of the Christian community in Kochi is a shocking incident. It is disturbing to note that Kerala is becoming a place where such incidents are happening which are considered a terrorist act,” said Muraleedharan. EFE