For centuries Buddhism was a major — and at times, even a dominant — religion in the Indian subcontinent. By the time the Muslim invaders arrived in force, Buddhism was already in decline, but the massive slaughter and destruction wrought by the jihad accelerated the process. Buddhists were wiped out in Afghanistan, and are now thought to represent less than 0.8% of the population in India.
Muslims, however, have not forgotten their ancient enemy. The Buddha had his awakening in what is now the state of Bihar in India, and some of the most revered sites for Buddhists are in Bihar. The sacred site of Bodh Gaya was targeted today, presumably by Islamic terrorists, who detonated eight or nine bombs at the Mahabodhi Temple, and left two others that were defused before detonation.
Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading this news report from Indian TV:
Below are excerpts from two articles about the attack on Bodh Gaya. First, from The Times of India:
Terror Strikes Bodh Gaya, Serial Blasts Rock Mahabodhi Temple
GAYA: Terror struck the temple town of Bodh Gaya in Bihar, as nine serial explosions rocked the Mahabodhi Temple complex on Sunday morning.
Two tourists, including a monk from Myanmar, have been injured in the blasts. The injured are being treated at the Anugrah Narain Magadh Medical College hospital.
Union home secretary Anil Goswami confirmed that the Bodh Gaya blasts were a terror attack.
Bihar Police suspect the involvement of Indian Mujahideen in the temple blasts.
According to Gaya Police, the blasts took place in quick succession between 5.30am and 6am in the temple complex and near the Mahabodhi tree. One blast was reported from a bus stand.
One of the blasts took place just under the enlightenment tree causing partial damage to the Buddha footprints in the shrine premises.
From Deutsche Welle:
Bombing at Mahabodhi Temple Complex Leaves Two Injured
Blasts at one of Buddhism’s holiest sites have left at least two injured, drawing stark condemnation from the Indian premier. The Mahabodhi Temple complex is the place where Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment.
A series of bombs exploded in Bodh Gaya, a Buddhist site which attracts millions of pilgrims from around the globe each year.
Authorities reported four blasts on the grounds of the Mahabodhi Temple complex early Sunday, followed by four more at a nearby temple. The final bomb detonated at the base of an 80-foot-tall (25-meter) statue of Buddha.
The blasts were low intensity, according to senior police official S.K. Bharadwaj, who added that two live bombs were later defused.
One Tibetan and one Myanmar national sustained injuries and had been taken to the hospital.
With the exception of a gate at one of the temples, none of the structures were heavily damaged in the attack.
No individual or terrorist group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
Hat tip for the articles: Fjordman.