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FIJI: Bomb defused near treason court

Published: Sun 17 Sep 2000 04:36 PM
USP Pacific Journalism Online: http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/
USP Journalism on the Fiji crisis (UTS host): http://www.journalism.uts.edu.au/archive/coup.html USP Pasifik Nius stories on Scoop (NZ): http://www.scoop.co.nz/international.htm Have your say: http://www.TheGuestBook.com/vgbook/109497.gbook
SUVA: Fiji's military forces and police were today planning tougher security measures following the discovery of a home-made bomb outside the Suva courthouse on Friday, news reports said.
Military spokesman Major Howard Politini said an "improvised explosive device" was discovered in the gardens adjacent to the courthouse situated in the Government Buildings.
According to the Sunday Sun, the military said the location and timing of the device suggested a link to the court hearings of coup leader George Speight and 20 other rebels who have been detained at Nukulau Island on treason charges.
Military explosives experts defused the bomb.
The Sunday Times said the device was timed to explode at 2pm when a group of the rebels were expected to appear in the Magistrates Court.
"The bomb consisted of explosives, an alarm clock, detonator and battery pack placed inside a tabili (metal instrument used to pound yaqona [kava])," the paper said.
The Sunday Sun said: "A security guard noticed the suspicious newspaper wrapped package and the army was alerted."
Major Politini was quoted as saying: "The public is advised to exercise extra precaution in the wake of this incident and to treat all suspicious packages with caution."
The bomb was found following the recovery of weapons and ammunition in a series of military raids around the country last week.
At the western town of Lautoka, a pastor and escaped prisoners are expected to appear in court tomorrow in connection with the capture of one weapons cache.
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