Small explosive found near Brazilian sanctuary before pope's visit

SAO PAULO Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:01pm EDT

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian police found a small homemade explosive in a parking garage near a Catholic sanctuary in the city of Aparecida where Pope Francis is scheduled to visit later this week, a state news service said on Monday.

The explosive, made with a plastic pipe wrapped in tape, was safely detonated by a police bomb squad.

The device was found in the bathroom of a parking structure in Aparecida, a city in Sao Paulo state whose sanctuary honors the patroness of Brazil, Our Lady of Aparecida. It was unclear if the device was related to the pope's visit.

(Reporting by Bruno Marfinati; Editing by Paul Simao)