Unexploded bomb found on French rail tracks

French police forensics experts were today examining an unexploded home-made bomb found on a high-speed rail line.

The small explosive device – made from plastic tubing filed with a mixture of diesel fuel and fertiliser – was found yesterday on the line linking Paris with the western city of Nantes, said judicial officials.

Anti-terrorism investigators were leading the investigation. Officials said there were no immediate claims of responsibility.

The bomb was found near Saint-Sylvain-d’Anjou, 55 miles east of Nantes, between the tracks of the high-speed TGV line. Officials said the device was very rudimentary, but could have caused damage.

Officials said the bomb’s detonator – composed of an alarm clock hooked up to batteries – apparently malfunctioned.

That section of track was checked 10 days earlier, meaning the device was likely placed since then.

Investigators were trying to determine whether the bomb had any link to previous attempts to blackmail French authorities by a mysterious group that called itself AZF.

It issued bomb threats between December 2003 and March 2004, and train tracks were searched then for explosives after the group indicated the location of one device buried under a track.

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