Venezuelan police detained a university student outside the U.S. Embassy on Monday, saying he left two low-intensity explosives on the street outside the diplomatic mission. No one was hurt, and the student's motives remained unclear.
Police set off the homemade devices — essentially large fireworks — while they closed the street to traffic outside the embassy. Children were evacuated from an adjacent school.
Wilfredo Borraz, police chief for the Baruta section of Caracas, told reporters that one of the explosives was found outside the school and one inside a planter about 50 meters (yards) from the embassy entrance.
He said both were in black plastic bags and contained "small fliers with publicity alluding to Hezbollah" — the Lebanese guerrilla group.
"The idea was apparently to create alarm and publicize a message," Borraz told reporters, saying the explosives were made to draw attention while scattering the pamphlets.
The youth told police "the devices were programmed to explode in 15 minutes, and that he had gone on the Internet looking for pages that talk about explosives" to help prepare the devices.
Borraz said the youth's knapsack was holding materials for making the small explosives, along with a card identifying him as a student of the state-run Bolivarian University.