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Varanasi blast marks arrival of plastic bombs

Posted by :) on December 20, 2010


Source : Pervez Iqbal Siddiqui, TNN, Dec 13, 2010

LUCKNOW: Forensic experts probing the December 7 Varanasi blast don’t rule out the possibility that the explosive used in the terror attack could belong to the plastic family — PETN/TNT/C4 — so far not favourite of terrorists in India.

The hypothesis rests on a number of elements that the forensic experts have come across while probing the blast that took place at Dasaswamedh Ghat in Varanasi. Five days after the blast, investigators are yet to find any residue of the explosive used, remains of any circuit or detonator and even use of shrapnel in the explosive. The blast site was, however, cordoned off soon after the incident and screened by the investigating agencies. “Such features are usually associated with explosive from the plastic bomb families,” said a forensic expert probing the blast. “This is entirely different from what we’ve seen in any blast sites in the country,” added the expert, who didn’t wish to be named.

Although the experts are yet to identify the composition of the explosive, a study of the blast site suggest the possibility of a PETN (pentaerythritol trinitrate combined with nitroglycerin) being used. “Though a stable liquid in itself, PETN can be detonated by using heat or shockwave. Thus after the blast neither any liquid nor detonating device is found at the blast site,” said a officer.

Other factors that suggest the possibility of PETN being used are that the blast left a heavy and dense cloud of smoke and had a deafening sound but didn’t trigger a fire. In the sub-continent, PETN is used by Lashkar-e-Taiba and is the latest favourite of terror outfit like Al-Qaida.

About the terror outfit behind the blast, especially on the basis of the explosive used, the investigators say it could have been the handiwork of sleeper cells in UP (Headley has said there are 24 such cells in UP under what is identified as “Project Karachi“.

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One Response to “Varanasi blast marks arrival of plastic bombs”

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