1.8.04

Just cool out, people

Yes, there was an explosion, but please stop calling it a bomb. You see worse damage -- and more injuries -- on Silvestr.

As the BBC and everyone else is reporting, at least 16 people were injured Sunday afternoon when an unknown assailant threw a hand grenade near (or perhaps at) a casino on Na Prikope. The BBC has footage of the scene shortly after the attack. Everyone notes that the police ruled out terrorism. The Washingon Times' UPI copy, perhaps typically, takes the terrorism bait the furthest:

The Czech Republic is a member of NATO and has a small contingent of troops operating in Iraq. But police officials said they believe it unlikely the attack was related to Middle East events.


The AP's headline is Pedestrians Wounded in Prague Blast while British papers, including the Telegraph, emphasise Britons injured in Prague blast.

The most interesting story comes from Maariv International and points out:

Israel Police officials are estimating that the attack, which targeted a local casino, was an attempt to assassinate Asi Abutbul, who owns a casino chain that operates in the area, and who is considered one of the leading crime figures in the Israeli underground.

Two years ago, unknown gunmen assassinated his father, Felix Abutbul, at the entrance to Casino Royal in Prague.


Update
It's just past 9 p.m. local time. Alex, Scott, Vladan and I stopped by the site of the explosion and watch more than a few people walk past the little hole in the street and point, murmuring 'grenade' in various languages. Other than five or six missing cobblestones (the little ones), you'd scarcely notice anything happened. The casino is still open. The cafes are still serving outside just meters from the ka-boom site. There's one shrapnel ding in the wall of the casino, some flecks taken off a nearby billboard, and one of those J.C. Decaux signs is busted out. I picked up a piece of glass from it.

And this from Ireland On Line: 'Three Irish hurt in Prague bomb blast' (itals mine).

17 Comments:

At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More interesting news was reported in the Jerusalem Post. Yeah, Dad the former owner was assassinated 2 years ago - he was also a leading figure in the Israeli mob and, among other things, did 6 years of a 10 year sentence for kidnapping.

~Bishop

 
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A couple cobblestones and a ding in the wall? Damn my slimebomb did more damage than that.

 
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