Dynamite planted at famed Paris department store

December 16, 2008

PARIS (ChattahBox) -– French police acting on a threat discovered five sticks of dynamite in a Paris department store, forcing the evacuation of large crowds of tourists and shoppers at the height of the Christmas shopping season.

A group demanding that France withdraw its troops from Afghanistan claimed it planted the dynamite found Tuesday at the major Paris department store.

French news agency Agence France-Presse said it received a letter from a group calling itself the Afghan Revolutionary Front saying that several bombs had been planted in the store.

Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said sticks of “relatively old” dynamite tied together but without a detonator were found in the Printemps department store, a favored shopping destination for tourists, and a Christmas season attraction because of its festive window displays.

Police cordoned off the store and the city’s best known shopping boulevard was blocked as police defused the explosives, but the interior ministry said there was no detonator.

Police said the explosives were found in the third floor restroom of the menswear department.

In the letter, the group demanded the withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan before the end of February, and threatened attacks if France refuses, said a judicial official informed on the contents of the letter.

The group was “totally unknown” to police.


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