Russia is suspected of being behind a recent failed arson attack in Prague, the Czech Prime Minister says


PRAGUE (AP) — Czech authorities suspect Russia may have been behind last week’s attempt to set fire to Prague public transport buses, prime minister Peter Fiala said Monday.

A 26-year-old suspect was arrested Saturday and charged with terrorism in connection with Thursday’s failed arson. The suspect, who is from Latin America, faces life in prison if convicted, police chief Martin Vondrášek said.

“There is a suspicion that the attack was probably organized and financed from Russia,” Fiala said. He said the failed attempt was likely part of Russia’s hybrid war against his country.

He said the attempt was part of Russia’s repeated efforts “to undermine citizens’ confidence in our state.”

The Czech Republic is a staunch supporter of it Ukraine fighting against Russian invasion.

“Unfortunately, this is not the first case,” Fiala said, pointing to a huge explosion in an ammunition depot probably caused by Russian spies.

Czech leaders said in 2021 that they had evidence pointing to the participation of two Russian military spy agency agents in a 2014 explosion that killed two people.

Russia has denied any involvement.

After Thursday’s arson, Interior Minister Vít Rakušan suggested similar attacks could be planned in other European countries, but declined to provide more details.

Police increased security in the capital this weekend due to the case during the European Parliament elections.

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