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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Car Bomb Disarmed By Agents

Bomb disposal experts disarmed a homemade explosive device discovered in the city center Tuesday under the car of an Armenian Embassy employee.

Federal Security Service officials on the scene said the device, which contained about 200 grams of plastic explosive, two batteries and radio parts, was discovered under a Mercedes vehicle parked on Protopopovsky Pereulok at midday.

The driver was identified as Avarjan Ovanezov, an assistant to the Armenian ambassador in Moscow.

The alarm was raised at 1:20 p.m. by a security guard for a company on the street, said the head of the Federal Security Service unit called in to disarm the bomb.

"The guard was watching a closed-circuit camera when he saw a stranger acting suspiciously," said Colonel Stanislav Zhurin, who supervised the operation. "After the man left, the guard found a suspicious object under the vehicle."

After militia officers confirmed the report, the street was sealed off for several hours. Ambulances and fire engines stood by as the bomb disposal team used remote control cameras to survey the device before they were finally able to disarm it.

"We were working for a long time because of the awkward position [of the device], just under the rear right wheel," Zhurin said. "Even using a camera, only its very edge was visible."

Ovanezov was not on official embassy business at the time of the incident, Zhurin said. He would not speculate on whether the incident might have been politically motivated and said it could "be hooliganism, a joke or a scare tactic."

The vehicle was parked beside a side entrance to a federal institute housing the Russian Society for the Blind. The institute leases parts of the building to a number of commercial enterprises including a hotel and a jewelry store.

Some of the residents in the neighboring apartment blocks were evacuated after the alert, and seminars being held in the institute were canceled.