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Britons Among 18 Injured by Prague Blast

3 August 2004

CZECH -- As reported by the Guardian: "The Czech authorities are working on the theory that a bomb in the heart of Prague which injured 18 people yesterday, including five tourists from Britain and Ireland, was intended as an attack on an Israeli-owned casino.

"The prime minister, Stanislav Gross, toured the area after the explosion and dismissed fears that it was linked to terrorism. It was, he said in a radio interview, "a case of gangs settling accounts".

"The target was believed to be the Royal Casino on Na Prikope, a busy street popular with tourists.

"Many of the injured were visitors from abroad. None of their injuries was thought to be life-threatening. One of the victims was a child.

"...The Czech police said: "We can rule out that it was a terrorist attack. It was a criminal act." The incident was being treated as attempted murder.

"Gambling is banned in Israel and a lucrative trade has grown up flying Israeli customers to newly established casinos in central and eastern Europe. Gangs often fight for control of the business..."

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