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Surat too was on blast list

Surat too was on blast list

Author: Team TOI
Publication: The Times of India
Date: July 28, 2008

Introduction: Bomb Defused, 2 Abandoned Cars with Explosives Found In Diamond City

Saturday could easily have been much darker for Gujarat had terrorists managed to carry out their entire plan to wreak havoc in the state. A day after the serial blasts in Ahmedabad, the Surat police found two WagonRs, abandoned in different parts of the city, loaded with enough explosives and devices to make bombs double the number of those that went off on Saturday.

The police also defused a bomb left at a traffic island near Nupur Hospital in the busy City Light area, Surat's commercial glitz. Surat police commissioner R M S Brar said it was similar to the one that was the first of Saturday's serial bombs which went off in Hatkeshwar, Ahmedabad. Obviously, the terrorists did not intend to limit their terror activities to Ahmedabad and had a bigger sinister plan.

While the bomb in the City Light area was spotted by a Surat sweeper around 11.30 am, the two WagonRs with fake Vadodara registration numbers were spotted by citizens-driven to a high state of alert after the serial blasts.

The first one was found near Puna Gaam general hospital on the outskirts of the city, while the second was spotted at Varachha, the heart of Surat's diamond hub. The car had bombs with unattached timers and ball bearings. In one of the cars, a black one which looked fairly new, was a drum full of chemical, most likely to be mixed with ammonium nitrate, the principal incendiary of the bombs. "We have recovered a large amount of ball bearings, more than 20 litres of chemicals, some of which seem to be inflammable, timer devices and 25 bags of white powder that is most probably ammonium nitrate. If this material had been converted into bombs, it could have created havoc," said a senior officer.

Both cars were originally registered in Navi Mumbai, an area that's under scanner because the email too emanated from there. "The simple-looking table clocks were, in fact, sophisticated timers. The WagonR found at Puna general hospital was carrying ball bearings and about 15 kg of ammonium nitrate," Brar told TOI.

Pravin Bhalani, a land dealer, first spotted the abandoned car. "I saw the car parked opposite Puna General Hospital at 9.30 am. Locals told me the car did not belong to any of them. So, I immediately informed the police."

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