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Czechs seek envoy blast death clues

Czech authorities are working to identify the explosive that killed the Palestinian ambassador who died after opening an embassy safe.

They want to know what caused the substance to explode and why it was being kept in the safe.

Ambassador Jamal al-Jamal, 56 died yesterday of massive injuries from the blast.

Pavel Kolar, the head of Prague's Institute of Criminology, said today that the investigation could take several days.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Embassy spokesman Nabil El-Fahel told Czech radio the safe had been in regular use, contradicting Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki's claim that the safe had been untouched for more than two decades.

The embassy recently moved to a new complex, and the safe was in the ambassador's residence.

Czech police say nothing has been found to suggest the diplomat had been a victim of a crime.

AP

Police spokeswoman Andrea Zoulova said yesterday that it appeared that the door of the safe had been booby-trapped. It was unclear how Mr al-Jamal tried to open it or what type of safe it was.

Today, Ms Zoulova said nothing had been found to suggest the diplomat had been a victim of a crime. The country's counterintelligence service, BIS, also said it had no such evidence.

She declined to give any further details about the safe because of the continuing investigation.

Foreign Minister Malki said no foul play was suspected.

A team of Palestinian experts is expected to take part in the investigation.

Security analyst Andor Sandor said it is very unusual to protect any embassy documents by such excessive force.

During their search, police discovered one more safe at the embassy complex but no other explosives were found.

AP

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