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Middle East

Blast killing Palestinian envoy no accident: daughter

  • An undated picture made available by his family shows Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic Jamal al-Jamal sitting at a desk in an undisclosed location. AFP PHOTO/FAMILY HANDOUT

PRAGUE: A blast that killed the Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic this week "was not an accident," despite an official theory to the contrary, the envoy's daughter said Saturday.

"What is certain is that it was not an accident," Rana al-Jamal, who lives in the Palestinian city of Ramallah, told the Czech newspaper Dnes in an interview.

Her father, Jamal al-Jamal, the 56-year-old ambassador to Prague since October, was fatally wounded on New Year's day by an explosion in the Palestinian diplomatic mission's premises.

Czech police have excluded an assassination, instead advancing the theory that the blast was caused by an anti-theft device inside a safe Jamal was manipulating. They also said unregistered weapons were found inside the mission in violation of diplomatic treaties.

Palestinian officials have given contradictory accounts.

Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki has described the death as an "accident" caused by an old safe booby-trapped to explode if opened the wrong way. But a spokesman for the Palestinian embassy said the safe in question was new, often used, and contained "no built-in anti-theft system".

The ambassador's daughter said she was convinced the explosives were put inside the safe when the diplomatic mission was recently moved from a different address in the Czech capital.

"A political or other motive" could be behind her father's death, she said, without elaborating.

"I don't know and I won't mention anyone."

 
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