Two 'letter bombs' exploded and two similar ones were diffused at a post office in Thiruvananthapuram while letters were being sorted, hours ahead of President APJ Abdul Kalam's visit to the state capital.
No one was injured in the blasts, police said. The first bomb exploded at the Manarcaud post office in the heart of the capital, when postal officials were sorting letters for delivery.
Jacob Punnoose, additional director general of police said the explosives contained potassium chlorate and aluminium powder. "This is not a letter bomb in its true sense but something like a cracker," he said.
Sorter A Ravikumar said, "I was busy sorting the morning mail and I found three letters which were heavy and did not have the required postage stamps. So I kept them aside. Suddenly there was a noise and lot of smoke came out from one of the letters."
A bomb disposal squad arrived the scene and the area was cordoned off. Then at noon, another letter bomb exploded at Kesavadasapuram in a hardware shop while the owner was opening a letter.
The incidents forced the top brass of Kerala police go into a huddle. "We discussed about the incidents and there was no need for panic. We have already sounded an alert in all post offices," Raman Srivastava, director general of police said in Thiruvananthapuram.
"This has got nothing to do with the visit of the president," he said.
Kalam, who arrives here on Thursday evening, will attend three functions and stay in the state for over 15 hours.