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Bomb Kills 1 at 'Verses' Protest in India; Muscovites Back Rushdie

February 28, 1989|From Associated Press

A bomb killed one person and wounded as many as 30 others Monday at a protest over "The Satanic Verses" in India, but activists in Moscow demonstrated in support of author Salman Rushdie outside the Iranian Embassy.

At least 20 people have been killed in protests in India and Pakistan since Feb. 14 when Iran's supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, declared that Rushdie would be killed for allegedly blaspheming Islam in his book.

The bomb, which exploded in Srinagar, summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir state, was intended for police who were trying to stop demonstrators from forcing shops to close, Press Trust of India said. It said a Muslim civilian was killed and a police officer was among the wounded.

The demonstrators had announced a strike to protest a confrontation Friday in Bombay in which police fired into a crowd, killing at least nine people.

Several protest have been held in India, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir, the only state in the overwhelmingly Hindu nation with a Muslin majority.

In Moscow, Rushdie hot support Monday form about 15 demonstrators who shouted "Shame on Khomeini! Shame on Islam!" outside the Iranian Embassy.

Soviet media have published reports form abroad about the controversy but have not commented editorially, and the Kremlin has said nothing officially.

A statement distributed by the Moscow protesters said "While all the civilized world is outraged" by the death sentance, "the Soviet government as usual remains silent."

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