News of Radio Prague

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Policeman killed in attack in Prague

A police officer was killed on Friday evening in an attack at one of Prague's busiest underground stations. The officer was stabbed in the chest by a man as he tried to break up a fight on a crowded platform, and died immediately of a fatal wound to his lung. The still unidentified suspect is now in police custody and if found guilty faces up to 15 years in prison. He is believed to be a foreigner and refuses to communicate with the police. A passenger who was injured in the fight is now recovering after an operation. Friday's attack was the first slaying of an on-duty Czech police officer since 1998.

Hunger strike ends in Prague prison

A group of about 20 prisoners in a detention centre in Prague ended a 5-day hunger strike on Saturday morning. All the inmates come from the former Soviet Union, mainly Ukraine. They said they were dissatisfied with the Czech justice system and protested against alleged human rights violations. The Prison Service is now considering their demands. The largest hunger strike held by prisoners in the Czech Republic took place last October when around 170 people in six different prisons around the country refused to take meals. It later turned out that the strike was plotted in order to cover up the escape of Russian-speaking mafia bosses from Czech prisons. The preparations were thwarted by the police in November.

Five arrested for illegal possession of Czech-made explosive Semtex

Five people have been charged with the illegal possession of the Czech-made plastic explosive Semtex, a notorious substance favoured by guerrilla groups because it is reliable and hard to detect. The five were carrying almost 50 kilograms of Semtex and a large number of detonators - when they were arrested by police in the car park of a Prague shopping centre on Thursday evening. A police spokeswoman said the men had been under surveillance during an investigation into an organised crime ring suspected of gun-running. The operation marked the second time in four months that Czech police had caught middlemen trying to sell the explosive. In April, two men and one woman were arrested at a petrol station on a motorway after they tried to sell undercover agents 33 kilograms of Semtex. For several years the manufacturer has been marking Semtex, used in industry, construction and by the military, with metal traces so it can be detected. Semtex is produced by a company called Explosia near the east Bohemian town of Pardubice. Earlier this year the government took control of Explosia in order to raise state control over the sensitive business.

Srba and other murder plot suspects charged with illegal possession of arms

The four people in custody on charges of planning to kill a journalist have also been charged with the illegal possession of firearms, the state attorney's office said on Friday. Among the four is Karel Srba, a former senior official at the Foreign Ministry Mr Srba was forced to resign when he was implicated in a scandal exposed by journalist Sabina Slonkova, the target of the alleged murder plot.

Social Democrats responsible for Srba affair, say opposition Civic Democrats

Meanwhile the opposition Civic Democrats have said the governing Social Democrats are responsible for the scandal, which they say is without precedent in the history of the Czech Republic. Ex-foreign minister Jan Kavan, Defence Minister Jaroslav Tvrdik and Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla all bear personal responsibility in the matter, Civic Democrats deputy chairman Vladimir Tlusty said on Friday. Mr Kavan gave Karel Srba a job at the Foreign Ministry, Mr Tvrdik is responsible for military intelligence, for whom Mr Srba was an agent, and Mr Spidla was responsible for the intelligence services in the last cabinet.

Weather

Thunderstorms and hail are forecast for Saturday night and Sunday morning in some parts of the country. Sunday should be cloudy and daytime temperatures should range between 22 and 26 degrees Celsius.