Devices explode at Mexican consulate in New York

NEW YORK Fri Oct 26, 2007 6:21pm EDT

Emergency personnel stand near evidence markers in front of the Mexican Consulate in New York, October 26, 2007. Police were investigating the explosion of two makeshift explosive devices outside the Mexican Consulate in New York on Friday, police said. REUTERS/Jeff Zelevansky

Emergency personnel stand near evidence markers in front of the Mexican Consulate in New York, October 26, 2007. Police were investigating the explosion of two makeshift explosive devices outside the Mexican Consulate in New York on Friday, police said.

Credit: Reuters/Jeff Zelevansky

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two homemade grenades exploded outside the Mexican Consulate in New York City early on Friday in an incident Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said was similar to an attack on the British Consulate in 2005.

The grenades exploded about 3:50 a.m. (0750 GMT) on Friday, breaking three windows, Kelly said. There were people inside the midtown Manhattan building at the time but they did not hear the explosion and there were no injuries, he said.

In May 2005, two home-made grenades exploded outside an office building, whose tenants include the British Consulate and an executive linked to a company that has attracted protests for selling Israel bulldozers used to raze Palestinian homes.

"These events are remarkably similar," Kelly told reporters. He said the devices used in both events were similar, the incidents happened about the same time of day and that in both cases a man on was seen riding away on a bicycle.

"We're not aware of any reason as to why this would happen at the Mexican Consulate," he said.

Police cordoned off the area outside the building and the bomb squad scoured the scene for evidence.

When asked if it could be linked to Saturday's first anniversary of the death of independent U.S. journalist Brad Will in Mexico, Kelly said, "That's something that we're looking at. It's all part of the investigation."

Will was killed when gunmen opened fire in Mexico's colonial city of Oaxaca near roadblocks set up by leftists pushing to topple a state governor.

Initial reports of the 2005 incident drew a connection between the blast and the British Consulate. But police later said they were investigating another possible target -- a board member of Caterpillar Inc. -- who works in the building. The company sells bulldozers used by Israel to raze Palestinian homes.

No arrests have been made in the 2005 case.

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