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Terror strikes Bangalore again,17 injured in blast outside BJP office

Three cars and some other vehicles were damaged in the blast,a fire official said.

Seventeen people,including 11 policemen,were injured in a bomb blast barely 50 metres from the BJP party office here on Wednesday morning.

A motorcycle that was at the epicenter of the explosion has become the focus of investigations. In the absence of any other evidence of the kind of IED that was used in the blast,investigators are veering to the theory that the motorcycle was itself the IED.

The choice of the blast site,outside the BJP office,just ahead of the Karnataka Assembly polls has raised many questions. The brunt of the blast was borne by a police truck on duty.

“It is a very clear act of terror… It is targeted at the BJP,our senior leaders and workers,” Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister R Ashoka told PTI.

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The blast damaged six cars and three motorcycles. All the vehicles were identified except one motorcycle which was blown to pieces. The highly damaged motorcycle may have had an explosive device embedded into a portion of its chasis below the fuel tank and the whole bike may have acted as a vehicle-borne explosive,said sources closely involved in the investigations.

The motorcycle in question was a TVS Suzuki Max 100 with a Tamil Nadu registration number,TN 22 R 3769,chasis number 1108F001568 and engine number 1108M05647. The registration number has turned out to be fake,with Tamil Nadu officials reporting that the number belongs to a motorcycle of a different make — a Yamaha RX 135.

“The unclaimed motorcycle that was used in the blast seems to be stolen. The chasis number and engine number will now have to be verified with the manufacturers to track the users of the vehicle,’’ said officials. They said the other identification numbers for the motorcycle did not appear to have been tampered with.

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Pieces of what appear to be detonators were recovered from the scene. The explosive is suspected to be a sizable quantity of ammonium nitrate,although this was yet to be verified by laboratory testing.

The device did not seem to have carried projectiles and was placed at a height. The force of the explosion sent parts of the motorcycle flying,damaging windows at a height of 40 feet from the ground as shrapnel travelled as far as 600 metres. The fuel tanks of the bike and nearby cars caught fire under the effect of the blast.

If the explosion was indeed triggered by a vehicle-borne device,it would be the first time in recent years that such a device has been used in what appears to be a terror attack. Although some groups of people have reported being trained in the use of vehicle-borne explosives during arrests carried out in 2008,the expertise is not known to have percolated beyond one or two arrested individuals.

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Today’s blast occurred on a day that marked three years of the serial blasts at the Chinnaswamy cricket stadium on April 17,2010 that left five people injured.

NIA officials arrived from Hyderabad to participate in the probe. An NSG team is also expected to arrive.

First published on: 17-04-2013 at 11:17 IST
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