2 suspected explosives at KLCC detonated, but Malaysia's police chief says they were souvenirs left by students

Two bottles containing what is believed to be an improvised explosive device were found at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on March 9, 2016.
Two bottles containing what is believed to be an improvised explosive device were found at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on March 9, 2016.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian police detonated two suspected explosive devices found at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on Wednesday (March 9), next to the Petronas Twin Towers, but later said they were experimental lights left behind by students.

National police chief Khalid Abu Bakar clarified that the two glass jars found were not home-made bombs as believed earlier, but souvenirs given to visitors to a science museum in the Suria KLCC shopping mall.

“The experimental lights in bottles called STARLAB by Petrosains were given to school students as souvenirs,” he tweeted on Wednesday night (March 9).

According to district police, cleaners at the convention centre’s Aquaria aquatic museum found “suspicious bottles” at about 5.15pm and duly informed security personnel, who took the glass bottles out into the open in front of the main entrance.

Police rushed to the scene and cordoned off the area at 6pm before a bomb squad, using a robot unit, destroyed the bottles two hours later, local police said in a statement.

The incident caused alarm as police and government officials had recently warned that supporters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist network are planning attacks and kidnappings in Malaysia, especially at tourist hotspots like KLCC.

A concert by singer Richard Marx at the KLCC went ahead in the evening despite the scare.

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told Parliament on Tuesday (March 8) that Prime Minister Najib Razak and some of his Cabinet ministers were targeted for kidnapping by the ISIS. But police managed to foil the plot and others aimed at creating disorder in Malaysia.

Datuk Seri Zahid said in September 2014 that there was a plot to test improvised explosive devices in Alor Star in preparation for attacks on places of worship.

The police also uncovered a plot last April to blow up Putrajaya and another in May to bomb the Freemason Lodge building in Bukit Jalil.