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Synagogue blast in Los Angeles caused by homemade explosive: police

04-09-2011 15:31 BJT

LOS ANGELES, April 8 (Xinhua) -- An explosion outside a synagogue in Santa Monica, Los Angeles earlier this week was caused by an intentionally placed homemade explosive instead of a mechanical failure, police announced on Friday.

The announcement is a revision of an earlier version which linked the explosion with a mechanical failure that caused a gas accident on Thursday.

Further investigation found that the explosion was masterminded by a transient wanted by the state on charges of possession of a destructive device and unrelated local charges, said Sgt. Jay Trisler of the Santa Monica Police Department.

Items found in and around the device have been linked to 60-year- old Ron Hirsch, Trisler said.

"Hirsch is known to frequent synagogues and Jewish community centers seeking charity from patrons," Trisler said.

Trisler said there is no known motive for the deliberate attack, but Hirsch should be considered "extremely dangerous."

Police described Hirsch as a white man, five feet seven inches tall with brown hair and green eyes and weighs 207 pounds. He is still at large.

Nobody was injured in the blast which occurred at 6:45 a.m. Thursday in the parking lot of the synagogue, sending a piece of metallic debris into the roof of a nearby residence.

The explosion prompted the evacuation of about 100 people in the area.

An investigation has been launched involving Santa Monica police, the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and Santa Monica Fire Department.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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