A fake bomb was discovered at the Montevideo World Trade Center building which houses the Israeli embassy in Uruguay on Wednesday, but the device did not contain any explosive material, the Foreign Ministry confirmed. Police found the device inside of a sardine can which contained wires, a battery and a switch.
A similar device was discovered by police in January in the same location. On that occasion, the embassy was evacuated as a matter of caution, and no injuries were reported.
Explosives Brigade chief Alfredo Larramendi told local paper El País that the device was apparently planted in order to “measure” police response times. A senior Iranian diplomat was forced to leave Uruguay in December after he was suspected of involvement in planting a dummy bomb some 70 meters from the building.
This bomb scare comes days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had called Uruguay’s President Tabaré Vázquez to thank him for his country’s recent support for Israel in international forums. Netanyahu’s call came about because the Uruguayan president was “a friend,” and it was important for Israel to express its appreciation.