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Weapons found at dead Palestinian ambassador's residence in Prague - police

Published time: January 02, 2014 13:54
Edited time: January 02, 2014 17:22
A firefighter walks past the site of an explosion in Prague January 1, 2014. (Reuters / David W Cerny)

A firefighter walks past the site of an explosion in Prague January 1, 2014. (Reuters / David W Cerny)

Some unregistered weapons were found at the Palestinian mission in Prague, where the ambassador was killed by an explosion while opening a safe a day before, Czech police reported.

The investigators working at the scene of Wednesday’s blast found weapons that “have not gone through a registration process in the Czech Republic,” Prague police chief Martin Vondrasek said on Czech Radio.

“We have gathered many pieces of evidence, we secured weapons that will be subject to expert evaluation,” the police official added.

He gave no details on what type or quantity of arms was found.

The Czech foreign ministry said it was concerned by the discovery of weapons not registered in the country.

“In such case, the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations may have been breached and we will demand an explanation,” the ministry said in statement.

The 56-year-old Palestinian Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Jamal al-Jamal, died in hospital on January 1, hours after he was taken there following a blast at his residence. Palestinian officials said he was opening a safe at the time of the explosion.

Police on Thursday said they were not treating the explosion at the residence as a terrorist incident. The blast might have been caused by mishandling of an explosive that could have been securing the contents of the safe, Reuters quoted police as saying.

Confusion arose on Wednesday after Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said the safe had come from the former Palestinian Liberation Organization’s offices, and that it had not been used for 20-25 years.

Palestinian Embassy spokesman Nabil El-Fahel later said that Malki had misspoken, and that the safe in question had in fact been used “daily.” He added that there was another “empty” safe, which Malki could have been “mistakenly” referring to.

Al-Jamal was appointed to the post of ambassador only last October, and there are “no indications that he could be specifically targeted by anybody,” Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian MP, told RT.

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