Page last updated at 15:34 GMT, Friday, 17 April 2009 16:34 UK

Irish 'assassin plot' investigated

Evo Morales
Police say Bolivian president Evo Morales was the target of the plot

A senior official from the Irish Embassy in Argentina is to travel to Bolivia to investigate reports that an Irishman has been killed by police.

Reports from Bolivia said he was one of three men killed when police foiled a plot to assassinate president Evo Morales early on Thursday morning.

Officers attempted to arrest the men, but they fled to a hotel where a shootout took place, police said.

Three men, one of whom was identified by state media as Irish, were killed.

The other two suspects were Hungarian and Bolivian.

The Department of Foreign Affairs told The Irish Times on Friday afternoon that a diplomat attached to the Irish Embassy in Argentina will travel to Bolivia to establish the truth behind the reports.

The gun battle took place in Santa Cruz, an eastern Bolivian city and hub of anti-Morales sentiment.

It was reported the shooting lasted 30 minutes, and at one stage the alleged assassins detonated a grenade in the hotel.

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