Bomb threat to new Alain Ducasse restaurant

15th March 2004, Comments 0 comments

BAYONNE, France, March 15 (AFP) - Police in southwestern France said Monday they had uncovered two explosive devices at the weekend at a restaurant under renovation that is partly owned by award-winning French chef Alain Ducasse.

BAYONNE, France, March 15 (AFP) - Police in southwestern France said Monday they had uncovered two explosive devices at the weekend at a restaurant under renovation that is partly owned by award-winning French chef Alain Ducasse.

It was the second time in six months that such devices had been found at the construction site in the town of Bidarray, near France's border with Spain.

On Sunday, firefighters - tipped off by an anonymous phone call - found two devices, each made up of a gas bottle filled with explosives, at the site.

Bomb experts were quickly called in to defuse them.

According to preliminary evidence, the bombs had detonators that could be activated by an alarm clock, but which malfunctioned. A similar bomb, which also failed to explode, was found at the Bidarray site last November.

An inquiry has been launched into the matter. No one has claimed responsibility for planting the devices.

Management at Ducasse's group declined to comment on the incident.

In November, following the discovery of the first device, investigators said they were following two leads.

One pinned the blame on Segi, a Basque youth movement responsible for activity targetting real estate speculation in the Basque country.

Spain's top anti-terrorism judge Baltasar Garzon has said that Segi has the same goals as the armed Basque separatist movement ETA.

The second lead focused on Iparretarrak, a disbanded Basque separatist movement that once operated in France.

© AFP

                                                              Subject: France news

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