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Hungary Police Arrest 3 for Planning Bomb Attack - 2004-04-13

Hungary's police say they have prevented a terrorist attack in Hungary's capital, Budapest, and arrested several suspects. Officials say they are investigating, and cannot confirm media reports that the intended target was Israeli President Moshe Katsav, who is in Hungary on a three-day visit.

National police spokesman Lajos Nemeth says Hungarian police forces arrested at least three people of Arab origin Tuesday, who, he says, planned a bomb attack in Budapest.

But Mr. Nemeth says of news reports that the suspects planned to assassinate visiting Israeli President Moshe Katsav:

"We have a few suspects of people who were preparing to make an explosion in Hungary," he said. "But I cannot say their intention was against the president of Israel."

Hungary, which is one of the European countries, which supports the U.S.-led operations in Iraq, has been on heightened alert for possible terrorist attacks.

Spokesman Nemeth says it is too early in the investigation to draw conclusions about the suspects' intentions, or to link them to any terror organization.

"We are questioning people, and we are searching their house. We are gathering proof," he said.

President Katsav arrived in Budapest Tuesday.