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Bomb Defused At Controversial Monument

Fri., April 14, 1995

An explosive device, placed during the night on a controversial downtown monument, was defused by bomb experts from Mountain Home Air Force Base on Thursday.

Police began an immediate effort to trace calls to police and television stations between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., advising that the bomb had been put on the Ten Commandments Monument on the Bannock County Courthouse lawn. Investigators said they believed the calls were placed from a cellular telephone.

The military bomb experts used a robotic device to survey the explosives, then defuse the material. There was no explosion or damage.

Officer Garry Pritchett said the device would be studied by police, then would be destroyed.

The monument has been the subject of legal action and public debate. Critics claim it violates the separation of church and state.

Bannock County Prosecutor Mark Hiedeman said the male caller said he was part of a group and that similar devices were planted in Pocatello churches. Area churches were alerted but no other explosive device was found.


 
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