Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Surat saved as 18 bombs diffused

AHMEDABAD: In a day of “battle with bombs,” the Surat police on Tuesday unearthed 18 live bombs and its bomb squad succeeded in defusing all of them, averting a major tragedy in the second largest commercial centre of Gujarat.

It was the third consecutive day live bombs and explosives were found in Surat. As panic spread in the diamond and art silk city, all schools and colleges were closed and children sent back home. Shutters of cinema halls and shopping malls were also downed. These places will remain closed on Wednesday too.

Whether the terrorists were playing a hide-and-seek game with the police or all the bombs were planted simultaneously was not clear. But the bombs were found almost one after another from day-break till evening.

Of the18 bombs, as many as 10 were found in the labour-dominated Varacha Road and Katargam areas alone, striking a similarity with Saturday’s bomb blasts here, where the labour-dominated old city areas were targeted. The bombs and the explosive-laden cars recovered in the city in the last two days were also on the Varacha Road or nearby areas.

As if throwing a direct challenge to the police, two of the bombs were found right in front of the Labheswar police chowky and Sardarpura police stations. Two bombs were planted in the diamond market adjacent to the Varacha Road, one in the Radhakrishna textile market and two on a fly-over.