No international terrorism behind Saskatoon courthouse blast: police - InfoNews

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No international terrorism behind Saskatoon courthouse blast: police

An entrance to the Provincial Court is blocked off after as police investigate the detonation of a suspected improvised explosive device last night in Saskatoon, Thursday, March 30, 2017.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
March 30, 2017 - 2:45 PM

SASKATOON - Police say a blast at the provincial courthouse in Saskatoon isn't related to international terrorism.

Emergency crews were called out just after 11 p.m. on Wednesday after a suspected homemade bomb exploded near the front doors.

The blast damaged the entrance the courthouse shares to the building, but no one was hurt.

Police Insp. Randy Huisman says explosives experts, arson investigators and canines trained in bomb detection were called out.

He says no arrests have been made, but security has been increased at the courthouse.

While international terrorism has been ruled out, Huisman says investigators are looking at all other potential motives.

"The investigation still needs to unfold. We need to look at the evidence ... and make determinations on potential charges, but in this type of situation we're not going to rule out that it isn't a domestic terrorism incident," he said at a news conference Thursday.

Debris and a black smear on the sidewalk could be seen at the blast site, while a cover over the entrance was partially caved in.

A police officer told CKOM radio that the blast forced up the ceiling before it collapsed under its own weight. The shatterproof glass doorway didn't break, although the glass panels were damaged.

Logan Tufts, owner of The Woods Ale House in downtown Saskatoon, saw the explosion.

"It really shook me. It was really loud," he told CTV Saskatoon.

Tufts was biking home and noticed a fire at the building's doors. He snapped a photo and tried to reach 911, but the call didn't go through. He pulled over to a median before trying the emergency call again as the fire grew.

He was looking down when the explosion occurred.

"When I looked up, the whole front of the door was gone," said Tufts, who was able to reach 911 immediately after the explosion. "It was pretty intense."

In early February, an unattended backpack was found near the courthouse containing what police said was material to make a low-level explosive device, including a Roman candle firework.

The police explosive disposal team later destroyed the items.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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