Pipe bomb explodes near Israeli embassy in Cyprus

Pipe bomb explodes near Israeli embassy in Cyprus
The incident occurred about 30 to 40 metres from the Israeli embassy in Cyprus as Israel's war in Gaza entered its third week.
2 min read
The incident occurred in Cyprus's capital Nicosia [Richard Sharrocks/Getty-file photo]

Four people were arrested after a pipe bomb exploded near the Israeli embassy in Cyprus early on Saturday, causing little damage and no injuries, police said.

The incident occurred in the Cypriot capital Nicosia at 01:37 local time (22:37 GMT on Friday) about 30 to 40 metres from the embassy as Israel's war in Gaza entered its third week.

The escalation began when Hamas militants stormed into Israel from Gaza on 7 October, killing at least 1,400 people. Since then, more than 4,300 Palestinians have been killed in relentless Israeli bombing.

Cypriot explosive experts called to the site found the remains of a pipe bomb which detonated causing slight damage, with police saying it contained the type of explosive material used in making fireworks.

Police said they arrested four suspects aged between 17 and 21, two of whom were on foot close to the scene and another two who were in a car parked on a nearby residential street.

They did not give any information about their identities nor nationality, with all four due to appear in court later on Saturday.

One suspect had two knives and a hammer in his car, they said.

Cyprus has a sizable Jewish community, and since the conflict began, police have tightened security around the Israeli embassy and sites of Jewish interest, such as the synagogue in the southern port town of Larnaca.

But there have been few reports of anti-Semitic incidents on the holiday island which is favourite destination for Israeli tourists, who make up the second largest national visitor group after Britons.

Cyprus has also taken in people fleeing the conflict who have arrived aboard military flights and cruise ships with the Mediterranean island located just 155 miles (250 kilometres) from the Israeli coastline.