January 5, 2010 / 8:18 PM / 10 years ago

Slovak held in Dublin over botched security drill

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish police arrested a Slovak man on Tuesday but released him without charge after Slovak authorities apologised for planting explosives in his luggage as part of an airport security exercise.

“The Slovakian Interior Minister has conveyed to Justice Minister Dermot Ahern his government’s profound regret for this incident,” the Irish government said in a statement.

The man, one of the thousands of east Europeans working in Ireland, flew back to Dublin on Saturday after his Christmas holidays. After a tip-off from Slovakia, Irish army experts removed from his apartment a small amount of explosives he had unwittingly brought back in his bag.

The man, in his 40s, was one of several passengers in whose luggage the Slovak authorities had concealed forbidden items without their knowledge to test their airport security.

Airport security has been the subject of international attention since a Nigerian suspected of ties to militants in Yemen tried to blow up a U.S. passenger jet on Christmas Day with explosives concealed in his underpants.

Reporting by Andras Gergely; additional reporting by Martin Santa in Bratislava and Padraic Halpin in Dublin, editing by Tim Pearce

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