Fake bomb found near Israeli embassy in Uruguay
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Fake bomb found near Israeli embassy in Uruguay

Similar non-explosive device was placed in same place at Montevideo’s World Trade Center earlier this year

Illustrative photo of security forces standing guard near the World Trade Center Montevideo, which houses offices of the Israeli embassy, on January 8, 2015 (AFP/Mario Goldman)
Illustrative photo of security forces standing guard near the World Trade Center Montevideo, which houses offices of the Israeli embassy, on January 8, 2015 (AFP/Mario Goldman)

For the second time this year, officials in Uruguay have found a device designed to look like a bomb in the building complex that houses the Israeli embassy.

Military spokesman Yamandu Lessa told the local Carve radio station that the device discovered Wednesday at Montevideo’s World Trade Center did not contain any explosive material. But the item, which was found inside a sardine can, was equipped with cables, a battery and an ignition switch.

A similar non-explosive device was found in the same place in January.

The Israeli Haaretz daily reported in February that an Iranian diplomat had been linked to the false bomb, but Uruguay denied the report and said its investigators had found no evidence of Iranian involvement.

After the first bomb, officials speculated it may have been used to test the response of security officials.

Uruguay is home to nearly 20,000 Jews.

In December, Uruguay elected a president who has twice traveled to Israel and maintains an open dialogue with his country’s Jewish community.

Dr. Tabare Vazquez, 74, was elected president for the second time. During his first administration, 2005 to 2010, he made an official three-day visit as a guest of then-President Shimon Peres, during which he visited the Weizmann Institute, Schneider Children’s Hospital and the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.

Vazquez, an oncologist, also traveled to Israel in 1982, representing Uruguay in an international seminar about cancer research.

His predecessor, Jose Alberto Mujica, said during Israel’s 50-day operation in Gaza over the summer that Israel was committing “genocide” against the Palestinians, as did Foreign Minister Luis Almagro. They also said “Gaza is a big concentration camp.”

Vazquez, who is from the same party as Mujica, when asked if he agreed with the president, said that Israel “was not committing genocide.”

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