Madurai: A pipe bomb was recovered from the outskirts of the city on Friday, the route which was to be taken by BJP leader L K Advani on the second leg of his yatra, with police suspecting that it could be the handiwork of Naxalites.

The five-feet long bomb, linked to a 50-metre wire and four detonators and batteries, was found under a culvert at Alampatti near Tirumangalam, 30 km from here on Friday morning, police said.

One person identified as Nehru has been detained for interrogation, police said. "We are yet to analyse the explosives packed in the pipe."

Advani, who has the highest "Z-plus" category security, was on his way to Srivilliputhur via Tirumangalam. Now, he would take a circuitous route via Virudhunagar and Sivakasi, police said.

Suspecting it could be the handiwork of Naxalites, who are allegedly having a base in the nearby hills in Madurai and Theni districts, police said the crude bomb was powerful enough to destroy the culvert.

They said local villagers, who saw the wires jutting out, informed police. "But for the people's information, the bomb would have exploded. In total, four detonators and batteries had been linked to the pipe bomb," police said.

Bomb Disposal squad and experts arrived immediately to check the nature of the bomb.

Advani started his second leg of the anti-corruption yatra from Madurai and was to reach Kerala via Srivilliputhur Tenkasi and Shencottah.

In 1998, a series of blasts rocked Coimbatore hours before Advani was to address an election rally in which 58 persons were killed and over 200 injured.