Mysterious group plants dynamite in Paris department storeDecember 16th, 2008 - 9:47 pm ICT by IANS
Paris, Dec 16 (DPA) A mysterious group calling for the withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan Tuesday claimed responsibility for planting five sticks of dynamite in a large department store in central Paris, the French Interior Ministry said.The police found the dynamite in the Printemps department store on the posh Boulevard Haussmann after a letter from the Afghan Revolutionary Front that bombs had been planted in one of the shop’s buildings was sent to a French news agency.
However, the ministry said that the dynamite sticks were not connected and lacked fuses, and therefore could not have exploded.
The entire department store, which was bustling with Christmas shoppers, was evacuated and the police set up a security cordon on the avenue.
According to the online edition of the weekly Le Point, the dynamite was divided in two packages and hidden in toilets on the second and third floors of the store’s Men’s Department.
In the letter, the Afghan Revolutionary Front demanded that French President Nicolas Sarkozy “withdraw his troops from our country Afghanistan before the end of February 2009 or we will take action again in your big capitalist stores and this time without alerting you”.
France currently has about 3,000 soldiers deployed in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban rebels.
Le Point reported that the police considered the incident a “serious warning” and were considering several theories, including someone acting alone or individuals from right-wing or left-wing extremist groups.
In Strasbourg, Sarkozy confirmed to journalists that the explosives lacked a detonating system and said that the police were in the process of analyzing the bombs and the letter.
“Vigilance in the face of terrorism is the only possible line to take,” he said.
Tags: boulevard haussmann, central paris, christmas shoppers, extremist groups, five sticks, french interior ministry, french president nicolas, group plants, printemps department store, revolutionary front