Items at Alps murder family home 'not hazardous': police
September 11, 2012, 12:03 am TWN
AFP--Suspicious items discovered at the home of a British family shot dead in the French Alps were "not hazardous", British police said Monday.
Army bomb disposal experts were called in to examine the items found at outbuildings in the garden of the property at Claygate in Surrey, southwest of London, as a precautionary measure, the police said.
Police had evacuated neighboring homes and cordoned off two roads while the bomb squad checked the house of Iraqi-born Saad al-Hilli.
"Surrey Police can confirm that items found at an address this morning in Oaken Lane, Claygate, are not hazardous," police said in a statement.
"A bomb disposal unit was called to the scene to carry out an assessment as a precautionary measure," it said, adding that residents who were evacuated as a precaution were now being allowed to return home.
After spending just over two hours at the scene an army Royal Logistics Corps bomb disposal van left the scene along with another police vehicle and police reopened the road, the AFP photographer said.
Police said the house and gardens would remain cordoned off while a search of the property continues.
British media reports said the search focused on a shed at the bottom of the garden.
Key witness unable to talk to investigators
A 7-year-old survivor of a massacre in the French Alps remained under sedation Monday, unable to speak to investigators trying to unravel the mystery surrounding the attack.
Zainab al-Hilli is recovering from a fractured skull and a bullet wound in the shoulder which she incurred in the Sept. 5 shooting in which her Iraq-born parents, Saad and Ikbal, her 74-year-old grandmother and Frenchman Sylvain Mollier were killed.
A source close to the investigation told AFP that preliminary analysis of the bullets used in the attack suggests only one weapon, a 7.65mm automatic pistol, was used. Most handguns of that caliber would have to be reloaded for an assailant to fire 25 times, as police have said happened in this case.