KUALA LUMPUR, January 9, 2012 (AFP) - Five people were injured in three small explosions outside the court where opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was cleared on Monday of sodomy, police said.
The small but loud blasts occurred within minutes of each other after Anwar left the courthouse in central Kuala Lumpur in triumph following his acquittal in a case he has called a government fabrication to cripple the opposition.
Kuala Lumpur police chief Mohmad Salleh said five people sustained "light injuries" but were taken to hospital for observation.
He declined further comment on the cause of the explosions.
"It's under investigation," he told AFP.
Police at the scene initially blamed powerful firecrackers, but local daily The Star reported that ball bearings, batteries and wires were found at the scene, indicating home-made explosive devices may have been used.
Mohmad declined to comment on the report.
Police at the scene cordoned off the affected areas shortly after the explosions.
Two of the explosives appeared to have been placed under plastic cones used by police who provided security around the court during the eagerly awaited verdict.
An AFP journalist saw two cones in shreds. Nearby vehicles also sustained minor damage.
Crowds estimated by police to number at least 5,000 had gathered outside the court from before dawn in a show of support for the 64-year-old Anwar.
The blasts occurred as his supporters were rallying in the streets to celebrate the verdict. The crowds dispersed peacefully not long after the verdict was handed down.
The verdict in the long-running trial defied the expectations of many political observers and even Anwar himself, who had said the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak was intent on eliminating him as a political threat.
Bomb attacks in Malaysia are extremely rare.