Palestinian ambassador killed in Prague explosion

Share with others:


Print Email Read Later

PRAGUE -- The Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic died Wednesday in an explosion that occurred when he opened an old safe that had been left untouched for more than 20 years, officials said.

Ambassador Jamal al-Jamal, 56, was at home with his family at the time of the explosion, according to Palestinian Embassy spokesman Nabil El-Fahel. Mr. Jamal was seriously injured and rushed to a hospital where he died, according to police spokeswoman Andrea Zoulova.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki and Czech police said no foul play was suspected, noting that the safe had been left untouched for more than 20 years.

It also appeared that the door of the safe had been booby-trapped, according to Mr. Zoulova. It was unclear how Mr. Jamal tried to open it or what type of safe it was.

The safe was recently moved from the old embassy building, but it had come from a building that used to house the Palestinian Liberation Organization's offices in the 1980s, Mr. Malki said.

During the 1980s -- before the fall of the Soviet Union -- the PLO had close ties with the Eastern bloc countries. In recent years, relations have been tense and the Czech government was seen as largely taking Israel's side in the Mideast conflict, said Nabil Shaath, a foreign affairs veteran and leading official in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement.

"The safe was sitting neglected in one of the areas of the old embassy. It was in one of the corners. No one had touched it for 20 to 25 years," Mr. Malki said.

The embassy recently moved to a new complex.

"The ambassador wanted to know what is in the safe," Mr. Malki said. "He opened it and asked his wife to bring a paper and a pen to write down the contents of the safe. She left him to bring (the) pen and paper. During that time, she heard the sound of an explosion."

He said the ambassador had taken some of the contents out of the safe, but it wasn't immediately clear what was inside.


Join the conversation:

Commenting policy | How to report abuse
To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Commenting policy | How to report abuse

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

You have 2 remaining free articles this month

Try unlimited digital access

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here

You’ve reached the limit of free articles this month.

To continue unlimited reading

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here