13-hour bomb belt drama in Dubai ends as woman turns herself over to police
DUBAI// Thirteen hours after stepping into the Dubai Public Prosecution building with her son and what she claimed to be explosives, the woman from Uzbekistan turned herself in to police.
Officials at the scene would not comment on the matter, but one high ranking officer would only say that they were able to remove the supposed explosive belt.
Dubai Police later announced through their twitter account that the situation came to peaceful conclusion and that the belt did not contain any explosives.
Deputy Chief of Dubai Police, Maj Gen Khamis Al Muzaina and his negotiation team spent a grueling 12 hours in talks before managing to bring a peaceful end to the situation.
Police confirmed that the woman was taken into custody, but the fate of the child remained unclear.
The woman, in her late thirties, is involved in a domestic dispute over the paternity of her son. She is known to prosecutors and had visited the building several times before. Her husband, a Syrian expatriate, is in custody in Dubai Central Prison in connection with a financial case.
The drama began a few minutes after noon when the woman, dressed in a niqab and accompanied by her young son, approached the reception desk in the prosecution offices and spoke to a staff member in Arabic.
The woman opened her abaya, while holding what a witness described as a device like a detonator attached by a wire to her belt, which was loaded with "heavy looking items".
As occupants began to flee the building hundreds of police, Civil Defence, ambulance, and rescue personnel cordoned off the area around the complex in Bur Dubai and bystanders were ushered away. Six police sniffer dogs checked vehicles in the building's employee and visitors car parks.
The deputy chief of Dubai Police, Maj Gen Khamis Al Muzaina, began negotiating with the woman at about 1pm.
She also asked for her lawyer, Muna Jumaa, which Dubai Police said was "an indication that the situation will end soon".
It seems the woman had expected to hold out for a long period as police officers said she had brought her own food and drinks with.
Both the Public Prosecution building and the Dubai Courts building nearby were evacuated by Dubai police and the surrounding area placed under security lockdown. The ordeal came to an end at 1:15am Monday morning.
A police source said the woman demanded that her husband be released from custody.
She also asked to talk to a high-ranking official who could help her to solve the problem of her son, who has no documented father. She said she was involved in a court case with her husband to prove his fatherhood.
The Dubai government said last night: "Preliminary assessment of the incident shows that the woman resorted to this extreme action in an attempt to attract attention and win sympathy that may help her put an end to this family dispute.
Dubai Police stressed that all necessary precautions have been taken and they are negotiating with the woman to guarantee her safety and the safety of her child and prevent any uncalculated reactions that would cause harm."
Updated: September 1, 2013 04:00 AM