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Palestinian envoy dies after Prague residence blast

Prague: The Palestinian ambassador to Prague, Jamal al-Jamal, was killed by a blast in his residence on Wednesday.

Jamal took office last October. He has only recently moved to the new residence on the northern outskirts of Prague.

The Palestinian foreign ministry said the blast occurred on Wednesday morning as al-Jamal “was opening an old safe which had been brought from the previous embassy (building) to the new one.”

”Minutes after opening the safe the explosion took place, causing serious injury to Ambassador Jamal who was taken to hospital and operated on,” the ministry said in a statement.

Quoting sources close to the police investigation, the Novinky.cz news site said the blast was probably caused by “careless manipulation with a dangerous explosive.”

”Emergency services treated a 56-year-old man who suffered very serious injuries and was taken to Prague's military hospital in an artificial coma, “spokeswoman Jirina Ernestova had said.

“A 52-year-old woman was taken to another hospital because of smoke inhalation and a stress reaction,” she added.

Embassy spokesman Nabil al-Fahel told the public Czech Radio that the ambassador's entire family had been in the residence when the blast occurred.

Police said they were still investigating the causes.

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