Unexploded bomb found by police in India's Surat city

Other News Materials 3 August 2008 15:35 (UTC +04:00)

A live bomb was found and defused in Surat, a city in India's western Gujarat state Sunday, bringing the number of unexploded bombs found there over the week to 24, a media report said. ( dpa )

The explosive was planted behind a hoarding near a bus-stand in the Atawalines area in Surat which lies 200 kilometres south of Ahmedabad where 21 bombings on July 26 claimed at least 55 lives.

The bomb was defused by the police and a dog-squad was pressed into service to check if any other bombs were planted in the area, the PTI news agency reported quoting police.

In all, 24 bombs have been found in the Surat city since July 27, 23 of them in the Varaccha area, where several diamond-processing businesses are located.

None of the bombs exploded apparently due to faulty integrated circuit chips in them, the report said.

Gujarat is one of India's most industrially advanced states, and Ahmedabad and Surat are its industrial and commercial hubs.

By targeting Ahmedabad and Surat, the terrorists were planning to cripple financial activity in Gujarat, state chief minister Narendra Modi said earlier asking police to speed up investigations.

But the Gujarat police are yet to report any breakthrough in the case. Several activists of the banned Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) have been picked up by the police for questioning.

Cities in Gujarat remain in the grip of terror as few people have been venturing out to public places like shopping malls and cinema halls this weekend.

A Muslim militant group calling itself the "Indian Mujahideen" claimed responsibility for the Ahmedabad bombings and has threatened more attacks.

The group claimed the attack was in revenge for the 2002 Hindu Muslim riots in Gujarat in which 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed.