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Hawks to probe Athlone blasts

A car dealership and nearby home were targeted on Wednesday.

Velocity Cars in Athlone was the target of an explosive device on the night of 25 July 2013. Picture: Via Twitter @peoplespost

CAPE TOWN - Cape Town police have asked the Hawks to investigate two explosions in the Athlone area.

The blasts are suspiciously similar to the urban terror attacks in Cape Town during the late 90's.

A well-known car dealership in Athlone and a home in nearby Surrey Estate were targeted on Wednesday night.

No one was injured in the blasts.

The modus operandi appears similar, but police are hesitant to say whether the two cases are related.

Major General Peter Jacob says it's too early to draw any links.

"In all of our investigations we look at patterns."

Meanwhile, anti-crime organisation People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (Pagad) has strongly denied claims that it is responsible.

The blasts occurred shortly after Pagad staged a demonstration in Athlone against gangsterism.

The group's Haroon Orrie said the convoy was peaceful and the group dispersed peacefully.

"We'd like to say we had nothing to do with the incident."

He said the group simply goes out onto the streets to offer support to local communities and invites people to support the programme.

"That's basically all that we do."

Pagad has been making its presence felt since the start of the holy month of Ramadan and says Athlone residents have been rallying behind the organisation in a bid to clamp down on drug dealers in the area.

Meanwhile, the owner of Velocity Cars, Niyaaz Jainoodien, said he has no idea why an explosive device was thrown into his dealership on Wednesday night.

Several vehicles were damaged in the explosion.

Jainoodien said he has good relations with people in the community and he is baffled by the seemingly arbitrary attack.

He said his staff members were stunned when they heard what had happened.

Community activist Hanif Loonat believes vigilantes are behind the blasts.

"Whoever's involved are obviously people who have had enough of drugs in the communities."

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