2 suspects charged with planting explosives on Taiwan train

TAIPEI (AFP) - Two Taiwanese were charged Thursday with attempted murder for planting explosive devices on a high-speed train and at a politician's office in April, prosecutors said.

The suspects, identified only by their family names Hu and Chu, were also charged with attempted arson and endangering public safety for planting suitcases containing petrol and cyanide at the locations, they said.

"Their actions were dangerous and malicious... We ask the most severe punishment for the accused as they have shown no remorse," prosecutors said in a statement.

Attempted murder is punishable by a minimum 10-year prison term.

Prosecutors said Hu had admitted making and planting the crude devices "out of frustration over society", while Chu said he had acquired a vehicle and helped plant the suitcases in both locations.

In the first incident, two unattended suitcases were found on board a train bound for Taipei, prompting the evacuation of more than 600 passengers.

Several hours later, two other suitcases were found in lawmaker Lu Chia-chen's office in New Taipei city.

The four suitcases all contained petrol, gas canisters, clocks, and wires.

Sodium cyanide and hydrochloric acid, which can produce poisonous hydrogen cyanide if mixed, were also found in the bags, according to police.

The pair fled to China hours after allegedly planting the suitcases on April 12. They were arrested in southeastern Guangdong province and extradited to Taiwan four days later.