Cyprus Police Arrest 4 People After a Small Explosion Near the Israeli Embassy

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) -- Police in Cyprus said Saturday they arrested four Syrians on suspicion of setting off a small explosive device that caused no damage not far from Israeli Embassy in the capital Nicosia.

Police said the four, ranging in ages between 17 and 21, face charges of attempted destruction of property using explosives, possession and use of explosives and possession of a knife.

Police did not say whether the bombing some 30 meters (98 feet) from the Israeli Embassy was connected to the war in Gaza. Security has been stepped up across the European Union following Hamas' attack on Israel Oct. 7 and the ensuing hostilities.

A Nicosia court ordered that the suspects remain in police detention for six days until investigators can formally bring charges against them or release them.

According to police, two of the suspects were spotted walking near the scene of the explosion, while the other two were sitting inside a car parked in a nearby alley. Two knives and a hammer were also found inside the vehicle.

Bomb squad officers said a "very small quantity of pyrotechnic material" was found inside a small metallic object at the scene.