Menu JTA Search

3 Pipe Bombs Found in Tunnel Under UN Library Hours Before Security Council Debate Was Due to Begin

Three pipe bombs were found this morning at the entrance to a subway tunnel that extends under the United Nations library. The library was evacuated and the entire UN complex was closed to the public, UN security services announced. The announcement said one of the bombs was timed to go off at 3 p.m., a half-hour before the Security Council was scheduled to begin its Middle East debate.

According to the announcement,,the bombs were discovered by a transit maintenance worker between 11 and 11:30 a.m. The subway entrance is across the street from the UN library and gives access to a tunnel containing generators and electrical equipment is not used by the public. The bombs were dismantled by a police bomb squad. There was no immediate information as to the nature of the explosives or their quantity.

The three pipe bombs, discovered behind a pillar at the entrance to the service tunnel, were each contained in an airline type bag and the three bags were concealed in a larger paper bag, security sources said. There were apparently no clues yet as to who planted the bombs. The police cordon around the UN buildings was strengthened after the bombs were found.

CONSULTATIONS PRIOR TO DEBATE

Meanwhile, four Arab states–Egypt, Syria, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates–registered this morning to be the first speakers at the Security Council debate. As of noon the Palestine Liberation Organization had not requested to be added to the speakers’ list.

The PLO has been invited to participate in the debate which is being boycotted by Israel for that reason. The PLO delegation is headed by Farouk Kaddoumi, its spokesman on foreign affairs. Members of the Security Council began private consultations this morning in preparation for the opening of the debate. Consultations on the Security Council debate ended at 1:45 p.m. UN sources said the Council would open its session at 3:30 p.m. with a discussion of procedural matters No further details were given.

YOUTH HIT BY UN SECURITY GUARD

As the consultations were proceeding, some 50 members of Betar and Yavneh, carrying Israeli flags, staged a demonstration at the Isaiah Wall opposite the UN. Yavneh members chanted, “We say no to the PLO.” A spokesman for the group said: “We cannot stand idly by as representatives of a terrorist gang, whose ‘diplomacy’ is murder, is raised to the unprecedented status of a national government.”

A 17-year-old Brooklyn high school student told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that he was handcuffed and “slapped around” by United Nations security guards in a basement room at the UN this afternoon. Robert Deligdish said the incident occurred after guards seized him and three other youths who were demonstrating against the PLO outside the UN gates.’ UN security authorities were not immediately available for comment.

Deligdish, who said he is a member of Betar, a Zionist youth group, told the JTA that the guards pulled him and his companions inside the gates and “pushed us and slapped us around.” He said the other youngsters fled outside the gates while he ran in the opposite direction and entered the UN building. He said he was seized there and taken by three guards to a basement room where he was handcuffed and “slapped around.”

He said he was photographed, ordered to produce identification and interrogated for 25 minutes before he was released with a warning not to show up at the UN again. Deligdish said he is a senior at Midwood High School in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn.

NEXT STORY