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| | |-+  Blasts at UK Consulate in NYC!!!!
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Author Topic: Blasts at UK Consulate in NYC!!!!  (Read 790 times)
« on: May 05, 2005, 07:23:43 AM »

Terrorists have struck in NewYork again!!


NEW YORK (CNN) -- Two "improvised explosive devices" made from "novelty-type grenades" have exploded in front of the building that houses the British Consulate in New York City, police said.

The blasts early Thursday morning shattered windows but did not cause significant damage or injuries, the New York Police Department said.

The devices, which contained black gunpowder and fuses, blew out a chunk of concrete in the flower box where they were planted outside the building.

The explosions occurred as voters in Britain were casting ballots in a general election in which Prime Minister Tony Blair is seeking a historic third term for his Labour Party. (Full story)

The small bombs exploded at 3:35 a.m. EDT (0735 GMT), police said.

"It was detonated in one of the cement flower boxes used as a barrier outside the building," a police spokesman told the UK Press Association.

"There was some damage to the front window but there are no reports of any injuries at this stage."

The spokesman said one device was the size and shape of a pineapple and the other was the size and shape of a lemon. They detonated within a minute of each other.

Police said the devices were both toy grenades that had been altered to explode by the addition of black gunpowder, The Associated Press reported. Police made the conclusion after piecing together the shrapnel.

"It was one of those things you light and then run," a police spokesman told PA.

Witnesses described hearing two loud blasts just seconds apart.

Santos Figuroa was working down the street and said he heard "two loud bangs" that "sounded like thunder."

The consulate is located at 845 Third Avenue, between 51st and 52nd streets, police said. The building houses other offices in addition to the consulate.

Video from the scene showed New York City bomb squad personnel examining a car with shattered windows parked on the street in front of the consulate.

The road was closed for two blocks on either side of the building, which was surrounded by police and bomb squad experts.

Police were investigating whether there was any security camera footage of what happened, PA reported.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We can confirm that there have been two small explosions outside the British Consulate. There are no casualties. New York police are investigating. We have no further information at this stage."

British Consul General Sir Philip Thomas later arrived on the scene and spoke to FBI officials and detectives, PA reported.

The Foreign Office said there were no provisions for Britons to vote at overseas consulates, AP reported.

Britain's diplomatic representation abroad has been targeted for terrorist attacks in the past.

In November 2003, a suicide bomb attack devastated the British Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Those who died in that incident included Consul General Roger Short, the UK's top envoy in Istanbul.

The New York consulate is in a nondescript office block on the city's well-heeled Third Avenue. It assists distressed Britons and can issue emergency British passports for a one-way journey to the UK, PA said.

It handles visa applications, as well as issues for British citizens such as the legalization of documents and notices of marriage. Its press and public affairs department organizes exchange programs, seminars and conferences, according to PA.

According to the consulate's Web site, its aim is to foster "political, economic and social understanding by establishing links between British and American government officials, academics, researchers and public policy organizations."

It updates local government officials on British government policy and keeps senior officials in London in touch with political, legislative and economic trends in its district.

A trade and investment section gives free advice and assistance to American firms interested in starting or expanding a business in the UK.

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