Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Austin bombings: Suspect dead after detonating device

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzihttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

A suspect linked with a series of deadly parcel bombs targeting the Texan city of Austin is dead after a major police operation, officials say.

The man was killed after detonating a device when officers approached his car off a highway in the city of Round Rock, north of the state capital.

He has been named by US media as Mark Anthony Conditt, aged 23.

The incident follows four bomb attacks in Austin and one in Schertz, 65 miles (104km) south.

Late on Tuesday, Austin police department used footage from a FedEx store in south Austin, the scene of the latest parcel bomb explosion, to identify the male suspect.

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After using the Google search engine to gather information on the suspect’s online browsing history, which showed searches on facilities which were used to ship packages, authorities later managed to locate his vehicle.

In the early hours of Wednesday, local and federal officers then took up positions around a parking area belonging to a hotel in Round Rock, about 20 miles (32km) north of Austin.

As they waited for tactical teams to arrive, the vehicle started to drive away, and officers pursued it.

When the vehicle eventually pulled over, armed officers approached, but the suspect then detonated a bomb, injuring one officer. Another officer opened fire.

Police later confirmed that the blast had killed the suspect.

Austin police chief Brian Manley said that local residents should “remain vigilant”, and urged anyone who noticed a suspicious package to contact the authorities.

“We don’t know where the suspect has been over this past 24 hours,” he said, adding that it was possible that additional devices may have been distributed.

Mr Manley also praised his colleagues in a tweet. “I can’t thank the men and women of #AustinPD or our Federal partners enough for their tireless work in restoring peace to our community,” he said.

Earlier, CCTV images of a “person of interest” were shared on US media showing a white male with blond hair carrying a number of large packages at a FedEx store in Austin.

Austin has been on edge amid the attacks, which have led to the deployment of hundreds of police officers in the city.

Two people have been killed and six injured in the bombings.

 

Source: BBC

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