Palestinian envoy in Prague likely killed by booby-trapped book - paper

PRAGUE Tue Apr 8, 2014 3:16pm IST

Palestinian national security guards carry the flag-covered body of Palestinian ambassador to Prague, Jamal al-Jamal during his funeral in the West Bank city of Ramallah January 8, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

Palestinian national security guards carry the flag-covered body of Palestinian ambassador to Prague, Jamal al-Jamal during his funeral in the West Bank city of Ramallah January 8, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Mohamad Torokman

Related Topics

PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Palestinian ambassador to Prague who died in a blast in January was most likely killed by a decades-old charge of Semtex plastic explosive concealed in a book, a newspaper reported on Tuesday citing a police investigator.

Police had decided Jamal al-Jamal was not assassinated, but had simply unwittingly opening a book booby-trapped years earlier, the source told daily newspaper Mlada Fronta Dnes.

"It was an unfortunate accident. The ambassador was a thorough man who wanted to put some old things in order, and among them there were two books with explosives," the paper quoted the source as saying.

It did not explain why such a book might have been left at the embassy in Prague.

But past statements by police had suggested al-Jamal may have been killed by a device used to secure an old safe.

Officers investigating the explosion found other explosives and firearms at the mission dating back to the Cold War.

The Palestinians had said they were old gifts from officials of Communist Czechoslovakia, which has friendly relations with the Palestine Liberation Organisation of the late Yasser Arafat.

A police spokeswoman said on Tuesday she could not comment on the investigation. The embassy spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

The explosion took place as the Palestinian mission was moving its embassy and residence in the capital. Al-Jamal died of his wounds in hospital.

"We are awaiting another expert opinion, but it was Semtex with 99.9 percent probability. The explosive was roughly from the 1970s. It was at least 30 years old," the police source told the newspaper.

Semtex, which was used to blow up Pan Am Flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988, has been produced by Czech company Explosia since the 1960s. Large amounts of the explosive were shipped abroad during the Cold War.

(Reporting by Robert Muller; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

FILED UNDER:

Reuters Showcase

Markets Weekahead

Markets Weekahead

Column - Caution advised in a trader’s market  Full Article 

Reuters Poll

Reuters Poll

RBI seen holding rates steady on Tuesday, minority of analysts expect cut  Full Article 

GDP Revised

GDP Revised

Economic growth revised up by almost 50 percent  Full Article 

Australian Open

Australian Open

Hingis wins Australian Open mixed doubles title with Paes   Full Article 

Houston's Daughter

Houston's Daughter

Bobbi Kristina Brown revived after found unresponsive in tub  Full Article 

India Art Fair

India Art Fair

Art fair turns India's capital into art hub.  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Rahasya" is an ode to Agatha Christie.  Full Article 

Review: Hawaizaada

Review: Hawaizaada

Movie Review: Hawaizaada  Full Article | Related Story 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage