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Czech police find weapons at Palestinian mission after ambassador's death

Czech police find weapons at Palestinian mission after ambassador's death
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Police in the Czech Republic say they have found weapons at the Prague residence of the Palestinian ambassador, who was killed in a mysterious explosion on New Year’s Day.

The Czech foreign ministry did not identify the weapons, but said they were unregistered – and that they were concerned the discovery could indicate a breach of diplomatic rules.

According to police the blast may have been caused by mishandling an explosive that could have been securing the safe. They are not treating it as an attack or terrorism.

Jamal al-Jamal, who suffered lethal injuries to his head, chest and abdomen, had only been in the country since October.

The Palestinian mission was in the process of moving to a new embassy and residence, where the blast happened.

Palestinian officials have given conflicting accounts over how long the safe had been in use.

Embassy spokesman Nabil el-Fahel said the safe was being used on a daily basis to store cash for the mission.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said the safe had not been used for two decades or more, possibly going back to the time when the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) maintained a mission in Prague.

Communist Czechoslovakia maintained friendly relations with the PLO in the 1980s, but the Czech Republic, an EU and NATO member country, has been supportive of Israel.