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50 fake bombs found in dead Australian's house

world Updated: Mar 03, 2010 10:27 IST

AP
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Sydney police used explosives to blow up suspected bombs found throughout a dead man's house but then discovered they were fake, officials said on Wednesday.

More than 50 bomb-like devices were found in the house and in the man's car, New South Wales state Detective Superintendent Gavin Dengate said.

The recently deceased man, a 69-year-old former electrician known as a recluse, apparently wanted to scare people away, Dengate said. Friends of the man, whose identity was not released, called police after visiting his home Tuesday and spotting what looked like bombs. Neighbors were then evacuated as bomb squad officers sent in robots and detonated six of the devices, Dengate said. "All of the devices were inert ... they weren't capable of actually detonating," he said.

Some of the fake bombs were wired to appliances, and one included a pressure switch linked to two gas cylinders in a car. The man, who died in a hospital more than a week ago, had also covered the windows in the house with aluminum foil. Police have been unable to track down any of his family members. "I have no doubt that he was not there to randomly injure people," Dengate said. "He was a recluse and he wanted to remain that way."

Dengate said police did not know if the man suffered from a mental illness.