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Gun cache uncovered at Palestinian diplomat's home following fatal blast

AFP - Getty Images

Palestinian Ambassador to the Czech Republic Jamal al-Jamal, seen here with his wife, died on Wednesday after a blast at his Prague residence.

A cache of unregistered weapons was found at a diplomatic residence where a Palestinian envoy was killed by an explosion, officials said Friday.

Ambassador Jamal al-Jamal died Wednesday after what authorities described as an accidental explosion involving the safe at his home in Prague, Czech Republic.

Officers searching the house  following the blast found enough weapons to arm a ten-man combat unit, police said.

Michal Cizek / AFP - Getty Images

A box is removed from the residence of Palestinian Ambassador Jamal al-Jamal in Prague, Czech Republic, on Thursday. He was killed by an explosion on Wednesday.

Local media reported that the haul included assault rifles. The guns had not been registered with Czech authorities.

Johana Grohová, a spokeswoman for the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told NBC News that the government was "alarmed by the report of the Czech police." She said the unregistered arms could be a breach of the Vienna Convention and it will "demand" an explanation from the Palestinian authorities.

The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations outlines the rules under which ambassadors operate within their host countries. It governs agreements such as diplomatic immunity.

A Palestinian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that the mission's staff had submitted the arms to the Czech authorities. He did not elaborate on the type of weapons involved, but said they had been retrieved from an old sack and had been untouched since Cold War times.

Czech police said they were not treating Wednesday's explosion as an attack or a terrorist incident. Officials said it could have been caused by a safety mechanism or by something detonating inside the vault.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki told The Associated Press on Wednesday the safe had recently been moved from another building and had not been opened in 30 years.

"The ambassador decided to open it. After he opened it, apparently something happened inside [the safe] and went off," Malki told the AP.

Al-Jamal was taken to hospital but suffered injuries to his head, chest and abdomen.

Meanwhile, the ambassador’s daughter Rana al-Jamal, 30, told Reuters on Thursday that she believed her father was "deliberately killed."

"We believe my father was killed and that his death was something arranged and not an accident. How? We do not know and that is what we want to know,"  she said. 


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