Mumbai bombings hit city’s jewellery districts

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Local jewellers stoical about blasts but affected by shop closures.

One of the explosions that hit Mumbai yesterday took place in the city’s diamond district, according to reports in the local and international press.

Of the three explosions, one hit close to diamond district near the Panchratna Building in Opera House, while a second explosion was reported in Zaveri Bazaar, a site of numerous local jewellers.

A report on JCK says that 10 people are known to have been killed and 100 injured in the explosions. Indian officials have labeled the blasts a terrorist attack.

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Rapaport Corp. posted an eyewitness account on JCK, from the head of its Mumbai office.

Diamond trader Aproova Mehta said he felt the bomb blast in his office and that the entire building shook.

"We were so scared," said Mehta. "Our building’s security, which is usually very high, was put on alert. We closed all the gates of the building. The diamond trade is too risky."

News site Daijiworld has said that the Zaveri Bazaar merchants have been left shocked and concerned about business but refuse to be scared into moving away from the area.

Raju Solanki, who’s been in business for 60 years and is located 200m from the blast site, said: "What is the point in shifting base? Are other business locations safer?"

Yesterday’s bombings were the third in the area in 18 years. Several merchants expressed concern as businesses will be hit owing to the temporary closing of more than 10,000 shops, including tiny diamond polishing units.

"My shop is hardly half-a-minute away from the spot of the blast and now I will have to keep it closed as the entire lane has been cordoned off," said one retailer, Mohanlal Seth.

Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazar was first targeted on March 12 1993, when 13 serial blasts across the city killed 257 people and injured over 700 others.

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