Two Arabs narrowly escaped death on Sunday (17 June) when their car, packed with explosives, blew up in the centre of Rome and burst into flames.
GV Rome street scene
GV Barberini Square
SV PAN FROM Dry fountain to spot where car exploded (2 shots)
SV Police head-quarters sign
SV Police with van inside police courtyard
LV Car wreckage surrounded by police cars in yard
CU PAN FROM German number plates to wrecked Mercedes (5 shots)
SV Wrecked car
Initials BB/0255 IG/PN/BB/0246
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Background: Two Arabs narrowly escaped death on Sunday (17 June) when their car, packed with explosives, blew up in the centre of Rome and burst into flames.
Police explosive experts said that they believed the blast to have been caused by a phial containing sulphuric acid, which fell to the floor of the car and broke open, detonating a bomb.
Police described the car as a mobile arsenal full of explosives. The Arabs were apparently planning an attack when the bomb exploded. Interrogated later by police one man said his name was Abdel Hadi Nakaa, aged 34 and claimed to be syrian. The other said that his name was Abdel Hamid Shibli, aged 28 and came from Jordan. Neither man admitted belonging to any political organisation. Both were charged with illegal possession and transport of explosives.
The blast, in the piazza Barberini, just off the fashionable Via Vensto, terrified the large crowd of Sunday strollers in the square. No one was injured. Both the U.S. Embassy and the offices of the Israeli airlines El Al are nearby.