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Man drives explosives into Lourdes


A Spanish man packed his car with explosives and set it on fire Wednesday after ramming through the entrance to the Lourdes sanctuary, where 40,000 people were attending Mass.

Officials said no one was injured in the attack, which occurred during a ceremony to mark the Feast of the Assumption.

After the man, described as a local resident in his 70s, bashed through one of the portals of the Lourdes complex in southwest France, he stopped his car and set it on fire.

LCI television quoted a witness as saying that the man doused his car seats with gasoline and lit the fire while still inside the vehicle.

Security guards immediately pulled the man from the car and extinguished the flames, state prosecutor Yves Saint-Macary said.

The car was loaded with Molotov cocktails, gas canisters, bags of nails, a loaded rifle and hundreds of cartridges, officials said.

Visitors to the site were attending a Mass inside the sprawling grounds of the Lourdes sanctuary, several hundred feet from where the incident took place.

The man told authorities he was trying to commit suicide and had no religious or political motive, Saint-Macary said.

LINKS
Lourdes

SOURCE
AP


17-Aug-01