Three pounds (1.36 kilogrammes) of military grade TNT were found on Saturday close to the holiday home of Cyprus President Demetris Christofias, police said.
The “high yield explosives and a common detonator” were discovered at a distance of 500 metres (yards) from the president’s retreat and ready to use, police spokesman Andreas Angelides told reporters.
He said the explosives were hidden and placed under a tree some 15 metres from the main road that leads to Christofias’ Kellaki village home situated outside the southern coastal town of Limassol.
“The find was over 500 metres from the holiday home of the president. They were placed in open sight. A first examination shows they were in excellent condition,” said Angelides.
He said the TNT was found following a tip-off to the police.
According to state radio the detonator was not activated but could have been activated via remote control.
It said the president had been planning to visit his residence on Saturday afternoon but was told to stay away until police completed their investigation.
Politically motivated attacks on the island are rare but as the island suffers a deepening recession – worsened by exposure to Greek debt — Christofias and his government have become increasingly unpopular.
But Christofias is the first Cyprus president not to run for re-election in February’s ballot.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]