Prague Police - Top Palestinian Diplomat Stored Illegal Weapons in Family Home

Prague Police say, illegal weapons found inside the northern Prague residence of a Palestinian diplomat who died Wednesday of injuries suffered when he opened a safe in his living room and an explosion occurred.

"Several illegal firearms were seized by the police in the flat of the late Palestinian ambassador," Jamal al Jamal, Prague police spokeswoman Andrea Zoulova said.

She would not say how many weapons were found or where they may have come from. In the Czech Republic, all firearms must be registered with authorities; any firearm possession requires a permit.

Jamal died after an explosion possibly related to his improper handling of a safe inside his house in the neighborhood of Suchdol, police said Wednesday.

Jamal died shortly after he was taken to Prague Military Hospital.

"The explosion was most likely caused by dangerous or unqualified manipulation with the safety box by the ambassador himself," Zoulova said Wednesday. "The explosive device was probably part of the safety mechanism of the safe."

She added that authorities had found evidence of explosives in the debris.

Police however, have not ruled out any "criminal involvement of a third person intending to kill a particular person," she said Thursday. She had said Wednesday that the incident was not related to terrorism.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry announced that the explosion occurred minutes after al Jamal opened an old safe that had been moved from the old diplomatic mission to his two-story house, which was being readied to house the new diplomatic mission.

A high-level Palestinian delegation sent by the ministry arrived in Prague on Thursday to help authorities with the investigation.

CTK, a state-run news agency said the house was newly constructed and was in preparation for housing the diplomatic mission.

The blast, which occurred about 12:30 p.m. (6:30 a.m. ET), also injured al Jamal's 52-year-old wife, who was treated at an area hospital for smoke inhalation and shock. Jamal was 57.

The couple's son, who was also in the house at the time of the blast, was not hurt.

Al Jamal, the top Palestinian diplomat had been assigned in the Czech Republic since last October.

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