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Australian teenager safe after 'bomb' drama

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Published : Aug. 4, 2011 - 11:21

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 SYDNEY (AFP) -- Australian bomb squad officers Wednesday safely removed a teenager from a "suspicious device" media reports said had been strapped around her neck, ending a 10-hour drama.

Police officers, some wearing protective equipment, gather near the home of 18-year-old Madeleine Pulver in the Sydney suburb of Mosman, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011 (AP-Yonhap News) Police officers, some wearing protective equipment, gather near the home of 18-year-old Madeleine Pulver in the Sydney suburb of Mosman, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011 (AP-Yonhap News)

Police were alerted by the 18-year-old schoolgirl, named in several media as Madeleine Pulver, said to be a member of one of Sydney's wealthiest families, in the exclusive suburb of Mosman.

It took bomb disposal experts 10 hours to free the girl from the "very elaborate, sophisticated" device, the Australian Associated Press (AAP) quoted Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch as saying.

Two police negotiators had stayed with her throughout the "very, very difficult" ordeal, he said, but she had not been allowed to speak to her parents for operational reasons.

She had done "a great job keeping her emotions in check," the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) quoted him as saying.

Nearby properties were evacuated and streets cordoned off during the operation, AAP said.

"We still don't know if it was explosive," Murdoch as quoted as saying, declining to say if the incident had been an extortion attempt.

"Certainly the family are at a loss to explain this, but you wouldn't expect someone would go to this much trouble if there wasn't a motive behind it," he said.

"The family have endured something no one needs to endure... but they have held up remarkably well," he added.

The SMH said a balaclava-clad man had entered the house and placed the device on the girl.

Other reports said a ransom note was attached to her neck and it was a case of extortion, with the Sydney Daily Telegraph citing a senior police officer referring to the device as a "collar bomb.”

Madeleine's father was named by the SMH as Bill Pulver, chief executive of Appen Butler Hill, a linguistic solutions software company whose clients include Microsoft, IBM, Toshiba and Motorola.

Investigations were being headed by the robbery and serious crimes squad, which also deals with extortion attempts.

Mosman is a wealthy suburb on Sydney's lower north shore lined with million dollar homes.

The street where the incident happened is reportedly home to leading racehorse trainer Gai Waterhouse and ex-Australian rugby stars Phil Kearns and John Eales.

 

<한글 기사>

여고생, 목에 폭발물 달고 10시간 견뎌


금품 노린 범인 목에 폭발물 설치..경찰 "정교한 가짜"


대학입시를 앞둔 호주 시드니의 한 여고생 이 무려 10시간동안 폭발물 공포에 시달린 사건이 발생했다.

지난 3일 오후2시30분쯤 시드니시내 북부 모스만의 버라웡애비뉴 한 주택에 괴한이 침입, 혼자 대입준비를 하고 있던 매들린 펄버(18. 12학년)양을 위협하면서 폭 발물로 보이는 물체를 펄버양 목에 매달아 놓고 달아났다.

펄버양은 자리에서 움직이지 않고 곧바로 경찰에 이런 사실을 신고했다.

신고를 받은 경찰은 즉시 폭발물 탐지반과 폭발물 제거반, 군 관계자들을 현장 에 보내 주변 지역 봉쇄에 나서는 한편 문제의 물체 제거에 돌입했다.

동시에 헬기를 동원, 범행 현장 주변 지역을 대상으로 범인 추적에 나섰다.

경찰은 호주연방경찰(AFP)과 영국 폭발물 전문가 등의 자문을 거쳐 2명의 폭발물 제거반을 주택에 진입시켜 무려 10시간만인 4일 0시반쯤 펄버양으로부터 물체를 제거하는 데 성공했다.

경찰은 당시 범행 현장 주변 주택 주민들을 대상으로 소개령을 내리기도 했다.

호주 언론들은 공포에 시달린 펄버양이 곧바로 병원으로 옮겨졌으나 별다른 이상 은 없는 것으로 알려졌다고 전했다.

정밀감식에 나선 경찰은 이날 오전 "물체가 폭발물이 아닌 것으로 판명됐다"라 고 밝혔다.

경찰은 범행 현장에서 기자회견을 갖고 "매우 정밀한 폭발물로 보이지만 폭발성 이 없는 가짜"라면서 "하지만 겉보기에는 테러리스틀들이 흔히 사용하는 폭발물 과 흡사하다"고 말했다.

경찰은 범인이 물체를 펄버양 목에 달아놓고 곧바로 달아났으며 협박편지가 있는지는 현재로서는 말할 수 없다고 덧붙였다.

범인이 모 소프트웨어회사 대표인 펄버양 아버지에게 금품을 요구했을 가능성이 있을 것으로 경찰은 보고 있다.

펄버양 아버지는 소프트웨어회사를 경영하면서 상당한 부를 쌓은 것으로 알려졌다.

범행 장소는 시드니시내에서 가장 부촌 지역 가운데 한 곳이다.