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1972: Parcel bomb attack on Israeli embassy

A diplomat at the Israeli embassy in London has been killed by a letter bomb.

Dr Ami Sachori received severe chest and stomach injuries when the device exploded at 0930 GMT and died on the way to hospital.

Eight bombs were addressed to diplomats at the embassy, but three were detected in the consulate post room and four others were intercepted at a sorting office in Earl's Court.

Palestinian extremist group Black September is thought to have posted the letters. Some were also sent to the Israeli embassy in Paris, sparking a worldwide security alert.

Scotland Yard said the devices - contained in manila envelopes only a little bulkier than normal letters - all originated in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

'Soft target'

A note in one of the packages appeared to implicate the Arab faction which murdered nine Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic Games two weeks ago.

Dr Sachori, who was due to return to Israel in a fortnight's time, was the agricultural counsel at the embassy.

An embassy spokesman, Eli Tabori, said he was a "soft target".

"This man had nothing to do with the political side of the embassy - he was here to promote Israeli agricultural exports and because of the unsuspecting nature of his job he was probably singled out," he said.

The Israeli Ambassador, Michael Comay, told the BBC it was much easier for extremist groups to attack in Europe.

"They take advantage of the free and democratic traditions of your open society and your hospitality to carry out their deeds," he said.

Bombs posted

In Context
Fifty-one letter bombs in total were sent on 16 September from Amsterdam to Israeli embassies all over the world, but Dr Sachori was the only fatality.

On 20 September a group calling itself the Central Committee of the Palestinian Revolution said it had posted the devices but many of the bombs were signed by Black September.

There were further waves of letter bomb attacks in 1972 - most of them posted from India - including one addressed to the US President, but only one person was injured.

Reprisal parcel bombs were also sent by Israeli groups to Palestinian Liberation Organisation officials, injuring six.


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