Australia more than 500 troops guarded the leaders of 11 British Commonwealth nations on Tuesday (14 February) after a bombing in which two people died and nine others seriously hurt.
Australia more than 500 troops guarded the leaders of 11 British Commonwealth nations on Tuesday (14 February) after a bombing in which two people died and nine others seriously hurt. To thwart the possibility of further terrorist action there was a surprise switch of plans when the leaders travelled from Sydney to the resort town of Bowral. They were taken by helicopter and car rather than by rail as originally planned.
SYNOPSIS: The bomb exploded at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney early on Monday morning an hour after the Commonwealth Prime Ministers had returned from an evening cruising on the city's harbour.
Minutes after the explosion a man with a foreign accent called police to say a bomb had been placed in a dustbin outside the hotel. Another call was made two hours later. Among the nine injured by the blast were five policemen on duty. But the men caught in the full force of the blast were two refuse collectors who picked up the bin containing the bomb and emptied it into the back of their truck. The rear of the vehicle was severely damaged and its steel chassis completely shattered by the 6.7 kilograms of gelignite contained in the device.
Police immediately began an investigation into the Australian branch of an Indian religious soot called Ananda Marge. They were considering the possibility of an attempt on the life of Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai, who was in the Commonwealth group. Ananda Marga was blamed for a number of threatening phone calls against Indian diplomatic officials in Australia last year as well as the stabbing of a military attache.