A large explosion believed to have been caused by a bomb was detonated during a Christian prayer meeting in Kerala, a southern state in India. One person was killed and 36 others were injured in the explosion.
The Daily Mail reported that the immense blast was caught on video, with a meeting hall being consumed in flames as people tried to get out of the area. There were more than 2,000 people in attendance for the Jehovah’s Witnesses prayer meeting in Kalamassery.
An investigation has been launched following the explosion, with authorities seeking to find the motive. The police noted that they are “examining all angles” and vowed to find those responsible for the attack.
Director General of Police of Kerala, Dervish Saheb, shared with reporters that at about 9:40 am (0410 GMT) approximately there was an explosion in Zamra International Convention Centre in which one person died and 36 are undergoing treatment.”
“We will find out who is behind this and take stringent action… preliminary investigation shows it was an IED (improvised explosive device) blast.”
The explosion comes amid tensions within the wealthy southern state in India. While it is home to 31 million people, 26% of the population are Muslims.
Despite the tensions, Saheb suggested that everyone try to maintain peace in the area, requesting that “no provocative posts are made on social media.”
While there is currently no confirmation on the incident’s relation to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, the Daily Mail reported that the explosion came just one day after former Hamas leader Khaled Mashal appeared in a pre-recorded address at a pro-Palestinian rally in Kerala’s Malappuram.
Mashal’s address was reportedly organized by a youth solidarity group that is affiliated with the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami Hind party in the state, per the report.
Christians represent a very small minority of the Indian population, representing just two percent of the 1.4 billion who live there. Jehovah’s Witnesses represent an even smaller pocket of the Indian population.
Jehovah’s Witnesses have garnered a reputation in the West as those who knock on doors, attempting to convert people to their belief system. They are largely apolitical and support a millennial faith, meaning that they believe the end of the world is near and God’s kingdom is imminent.
Kerala Blast: Blast At Christian Group Convention In Ernakulam, 1 Dead And 20 Injuredwww.youtube.com
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