LONDON -- A bookstore was bombed in Northern England and three more bombs were left outside outlets of the chain store in other cities in what appeared to be part of a continuing protest against the publishers of Salman Rushdie's novel 'The Satanic Verses.'
In York, 209 miles north of London, a bomb exploded about 9 p.m. Wednesday outside a Penguin bookshop after police arrived and sealed off the area, but before an army bomb disposal team could defuse the device, authorities said. No one was injured.
About two hours later a man telephoned the Independent Television Network and warned bombs were in place in Peterborough, 118 miles north of London, Nottingham, 30 miles north of London, Guildford, 30 miles southwest of London, and York. The caller had an Indian accent.
Police then found the other three bombs outside Penguin bookstores. The Guildford device was defused, the one in Nottingham was destroyed by controlled explosion and the Petersborough device was defused and taken away for forensic investigation, police said.
'We came into play around 11 p.m.,' a Petersborough police spokesman said. 'We obviously took the package to be serious, sealed off area ... and called out the bomb disposal specialists.'
No groups has admitted responsibility, but the link to Salman Rushdie is thought because Viking Penguin publishes the novel.
'We're keep an open mind,' the spokesman said, adding that bomb warning had been taken seriously because it centered on a Penguin bookshop.
Rushdie's book is considered blasphemous by Moslems. The author has been in hiding since the late Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini called for his death Feb. 14.
A pipe-bomb exploded outside a London department store Sept. 3, wounding one woman. A warning issued to police shortly before the blast outside the Liberty's store mentioned 'The Satanic Verses.' The department store does not stock the novel.