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Lankans asked to delay visit to Bodh Gaya after terror strike

2013 Jul 09

Sri Lankan government today asked its citizens to delay their departures to Bodh Gaya in Bihar by a week after a terror attack hit one of the holiest Buddhists places in which two monks were injured.

"In view of the situation the pilgrims are warned to delay their departures by one week," the Sri Lankan government said here in a statement.

The Government Information Department stressed that the target of the bombings in the Mahabodhi Temple was neither Buddhists nor Sri Lankan pilgrims, but advised the Sri Lankans not to visit the Temple during next week due to the ongoing investigations into the series of bomb blasts.

No Sri Lankans were reported to have been injured in the series of blasts at the Mahabodhi Temple, the government said.

Thousands of people from Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka visit Bodh Gaya on pilgrimage, the site where Lord Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment or the Buddhahood.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa earlier condemned the terror attack.

Bodh Gaya is one of the holiest shrines respected and revered not only by Buddhists but by all peace loving human beings, the statement said.

Rajapaksa's office said the President had spoken with the chief minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, over phone to convey his sadness and condemnation of the terrorist attack.

Nine serial explosions today rocked the temple town of Bodh Gaya in Bihar, including four in the Mahabodhi Temple complex, injuring two monks.

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