`Blair`s bodyguards brought rocket launcher in Gaza`
Two bodyguards claimed they bought the launcher to protect former British PM.
London: Two members of the elite Scotland Yard unit which follows Tony Blair around the world are being investigated over claims that they bought a device for launching rockets or grenades to protect former British prime minister.
According to the Daily Mail, the Independent Police Complaints Commission are probing to find out details as to what exactly made the officers purchase the weapon, apparently on expenses, for a trip to Gaza. It is alleged they were not permitted to buy such a device.
The pair have reportedly claimed that it was not bought as a weapon, but was intended to fire ‘smoke bombs’ to prevent any attack on Blair, who is the UN’s Middle East envoy, as any trip by him to Gaza carries huge risks.
Meanwhile, a separate probe has been launched by the IPCC into claims that a member of Blair’s protection team broke rules by accompanying him to Israel and Gaza. The officer was reportedly forbidden from making such visits because his partner has worked for the Israeli security services.
A senior colleague, who allegedly approved the officer’s trips to Israel and Gaza, is also being investigated by the IPCC, the paper said.
Blair had made his first visit to Gaza on March 01 last year, nearly two years after he was appointed special representative for the UN, EU, Russia and the United States. It was the first visit by a British minister since Hamas seized control of Gaza in a coup in 2007.