Winemaker injured by home-made explosive

  • Friday 25 July 2008

A southern French winemaker has been injured and is currently under investigation after explosives he was making blew up in his winery.

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The winemaker, who is a member of the young farmers’ union but whose name has not been released, is currently being held by police for questioning in the south-western town of Limoux.

According to local authorities, the injured man, who was also suffering from shock, was taken to hospital for treatment before being discharged and brought into police custody.

He is currently being investigated for links to recent attacks by the CRAV, a militant group of winemakers.

Public prosecutor Francis Battut told news agency AFP the police were looking to determine ‘whether the explosive devices are the same as those used in attacks these last few months’.

The winemaker told police the bombs, made with over-the-counter ingredients, were to be used to bring down poplar trees on his land.

Battut refused to come to any conclusions regarding the investigation.

‘All the doors are open,’ he said. ‘It’s impossible to back one theory or another.’

Early in June, two roadside speed cameras were set alight by members of CRAV. Later that month, following demonstrations in Montpellier, balaclava-clad winemakers armed with baseball bats ambushed two police cars, whose occupants fled, before setting fire to the vehicles. Supermarkets, banks and official buildings were also targeted.

Interior Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie called the attacks ‘attempted homicide’.

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