Five persons were killed and eight others injured in a country bomb explosion at Narikkattery in Kozhikode district on Saturday night. According to police sources, all those who were killed and injured in the incident were Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) activists. The explosion took place while the youth were engaged in the making of crude bombs, the police said.

The youth who lost their lives in the incident included C. Riyas, 28; C.T. Sameer, 24; P. Rafeek, 26; V.P. Shameel, 25 and K. Shabeer, 27. Their bodies were handed over to relatives after post mortem examinations at the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital on Sunday evening. Persons who suffered burn injuries are undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Kozhikode.

The explosion was reported around 10 p.m. on Saturday at an isolated hilly area of the politically sensitive Narikkattery. People from the near-by areas told police that they heard a series of explosions. They also communicated the possibility of the explosion occuring while the youth were trying to take away the finished country bombs to politically-tensed areas in Nadapuram.

On Saturday night, 13 houses were partially damaged at Payanthongu in Nadapuram as country bombs were hurled by anonymous persons following political clashes in the region. Police had unearthed nearly 10 pipe bombs in various searches conducted.

Though instances of country bomb explosions were not new for the natives of Nadapuram, it was the first time that five persons were simultaneously killed in a blast. The death of four persons was confirmed by the hospital authorities on Saturday night itself. The last victim succumbed to injuries on Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, the IUML leadership strongly denied the involvement of their party men in the incident. IUML District secretary M.C. Mayin Haji said that those who were killed and injured in the incident were not the members of the party and had hardly any relation with the party members. He affirmed that the party would initiate strong action if police found any solid evidences proving the involvement of League activists.

Explosives seized

Police with the support of a bomb squad and Fire and Rescue Service personnel conducted massive searches in and around Narikkatteri seizing five kilogram of gunpowder and other raw materials used for making country bombs. The explosives packed in plastic covers were found hidden inside a well near the spot of incident.

A team of senior police officials headed by Inspector General of Police (Kannur) Sudhesh Kumar visited the spot and held discussions with the Superintendent of Police (Rural) Neeraj Kumar for tightening surveillance measures in the region. Mr. Sudhesh Kumar said a serious inquiry would be conducted into the incident. A case has already been registered at the Nadapuram Police Station, he added.

Rural SP. Neeraj Kumar said a large number of police personnel had already been pressed into service for avoiding possible political clashes in the region. The measures had been reviewed by senior police officials, he added.