India's Police Find Key Clue to Bombings

From Associated Press

Police Sunday found a booby-trapped motor scooter that could provide leads to a series of synchronized bombings that killed 300 people in Bombay.

The scooter's luggage compartments were stuffed with plastic explosives wired to the ignition, Police Commissioner Amarjit Singh Samra said.

No one has claimed responsibility for Friday's blasts, but police say they have been questioning many people. The wave of 13 bombs injured 1,100 and damaged or destroyed skyscrapers, apartment buildings and hotels.

A doctor called police Sunday to investigate the scooter, which he said had been parked outside his office since Friday, Samra said.

The area, a few hundred yards from a train station in central Bombay, was sealed and nearby buildings were evacuated until the bombs were defused.

About 15 pounds of explosives were packed into the scooter, and Samra said that having the material would be "a very good aid" in the investigation.

Bombay, home to 12 million residents, was showing signs of resuming normal life on Sunday. On side streets a few blocks from the badly hit stock exchange building, children played cricket and soccer, and beaches and parks were full on the breezy spring day.

There has been no violence in Bombay since Friday's car bombings. But many people were worried that Hindu-Muslim bloodshed that tore apart the city in January could resume.

The head of the Maharashtra state government, Sharad Pawar, said the stock exchange would reopen today or Tuesday in an annex of the bombed-out building, a sign that India was anxious to get back to business and send a signal to potential foreign investors.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World