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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bomb scare in France outside Israeli consulate (updated)

A bomb threat:
Israel’s consulate in the southern French port city of Marseille was temporarily evacuated Tuesday when a bomb disposal squad found a mock device placed in a van parked outside.

Police were alerted after an anonymous caller telephoned in a bomb threat, and found a pressure cooker with protruding wires and marked with a radiation warning sticker in a Renault van parked outside the Israeli mission.

The area was cordoned off and specialist officers investigated, but the wires were found to be attached to a car radio hidden in the pot, and radiation tests proved negative, a police official said.

The alert was called off an hour-and-a-half after it began.
Israel denies any evacuation:
The Foreign Ministry on Tuesday denied reports that a bomb threat forced the evacuation of the Israeli consulate in the French port city of Marseille.

According to the Foreign Minstry, there was no evacuation of the building and they were not made aware of any bomb threat.
Does this mean that the French police didn't inform the diplomats of the threat altogether? That seems scarier than the bomb threat itself.

UPDATE: Jonathan-Simon Sellem of the excellent JSSNews site tells me that a friend of his who works there said that there were no need of evacuation. The police work closely with the consulate, and they do a good job. They also checked for radioactivity to see if it was a "dirty bomb."