Bucket Bomb Found In Forest

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The discovery and subsequent detonation of six grenades, six anti-personnel devices and a number of blasting caps in the wilderness near Young has authorities searching for more clues as to who assembled the devices and where more of them may be found.

The investigation began Friday after an officer for the U.S. Forest Service found a 5-gallon bucket containing the explosives while on patrol in an uninhabited, remote area of the Sierra Ancha mountains south of Young.

Investigating officers from the Gila County Sheriff's Department called in experts from the Department of Public Safety to dispose of the explosives. DPS brought in an agent from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for the initial investigation Friday.

Saturday, DPS bomb experts used a remote-controlled robot to examine and detonate the explosives.

According to DPS spokesman Kevin Wood, the intended use of the explosives was obvious.

"These were basically anti-personnel land mines which will detonate when stepped on, or they can be attached to trip wires.

"There is really only one use for these things and that is to kill or injure people," he said. "The blasting caps we found were also of a home-made nature, which also brings up some concerns."

The bucket included numerous nails, glass, screws and staples which when combined with explosives offers a significantly increased potential to injure people.

ATF studies indicate that Arizona has the third-highest rate of stolen explosives in the United States. Gila County Sheriff's officers are continuing the search for additional explosives and the persons involved in the case.

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