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Varanasi temple blast kills one – police

LUCKNOW, India (Reuters) - A blast outside a temple in Varanasi killed at least one person and injured several people, police said on Tuesday.

At least three TV stations, citing “reports”, said some 20 people had been injured, including several foreign tourists.

“It was a low intensity blast,” said Prem Prakash, a senior police official speaking on CNN-IBN television channel, without elaborating what caused it. “It is difficult to say whether it was an explosive.”

Prakash said “four to five” people had been injured and did not say if anyone had been killed or whether foreigners were among the injured.

TV images showed blood-soaked debris scattered outside a temple by the Ganges river in Varanasi.

“We heard a very massive blow immediately. I saw people running,” Devendra Singh told NDTV television channel.

“I have seen the police, ambulance and the police vehicles coming in ... They have asked us to move and I am moving out from that place and going back to the hotel,” he said.

In 2006, three blasts in Varanasi killed at least 15 people and wounded 60 people.

India remains jittery about the threat of militant strikes, especially since the Mumbai attacks in November 2008 which killed 166 people and raised tensions between India and Pakistan.

Reporting by Alka Pande