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Blasts Hit Three Northern Indian Cities, Killing At Least 13


Indian police say a series of near simultaneous blasts has killed at least 13 people and wounded more than 45 others in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

The explosions occurred Friday in the courthouses of three northern cities - Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad. Officials say many of those killed or wounded were lawyers.

Uttar Pradesh officials blame terrorists for the attacks. The cities have a history of communal tension between India's majority Hindus and its minority Muslims.

Of the 13 dead - at least nine people were killed in Varanasi, one of India's holiest cities. Pilgrims travel to the city to bathe in the Ganges river as part of a Hindu religious festival.

In Lucknow, the state capital, police say a bomb was rigged to a motorcycle outside the courthouse.

Indian authorities say militants often target religious locales in an effort to further divide majority Hindus and minority Muslims.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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