Sydney teen freed safely after 10-hour bomb scare

Last Updated: Thursday, August 4, 2011 - 00:49

Sydney: An Australian bomb squad safely freed a teenager trapped near a suspicious device for 10 horrifying hours Wednesday, setting off mysteries as to who put the device in the woman`s Sydney home and why.

Police still don`t know whether the device is an explosive but are looking for a person who they believe placed it in the woman`s home, New South Wales state Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch said.

"We want to get our hands on who`s done this," Murdoch told reporters.

Police refused to confirm reports the device had been tethered to the 18-year-old woman`s body and kept a tight lid on information throughout her ordeal. They said they did not consider it a case of "self-harm" and that the woman had tried vigilantly to help police since she called them to her home about 2:30 p.m. in the wealthy suburb of Mosman.

Murdoch said the suspicious device was near the teen but was not more specific. The device was still intact upon the girl`s release, he said.

The teen was doing well and was with her parents, he said. They had been kept out of the house by police during the day for their own safety. The girl was being taken to a hospital for an examination, police said.

"She`s good — she`s been kept in a very uncomfortable position," Murdoch said. "She has been and will be uncomfortable for a little while to come."

Murdoch said it was "far too early to say" whether the device had been placed in the teen`s home as part of an extortion attempt, and refused to comment on a report that a note had been left alongside the device. He said police have no ideas as to a motive.

"The family are at a loss to explain this," he said. "You would hardly think that someone would go to this much trouble if there wasn`t a motive behind it."

Murdoch described the device as "very elaborate, very sophisticated."

"The manner in which it was located in proximity to the young lady was such that it has taken us the better part of ten hours to secure her release," he said. "The examination of that device will continue into the early morning and possibly longer."

Murdoch said the state police consulted with Australia`s federal police agency and the British military during the ordeal.

"We have left absolutely no stone unturned to make sure that we met our objective — and that objective always was the safety of the young lady," he said.

Bureau Report



First Published: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - 18:20

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