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Explosion reported near D.C. Planned Parenthood clinic

Street

January 22, 1997
Web posted at: 9:45 a.m. EST

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A stun grenade exploded Wednesday morning near a Planned Parenthood clinic in Washington, police said.

Authorities believe a man standing across the street from the clinic was holding the grenade when it went off. The clinic is less than a mile from the White House. Police were looking for a Hispanic man in dark clothing seen running from the scene.

Stun grenades are not designed to cause damage, but police said there was some debris in the area. Police evacuated the area and called in bomb sniffing dogs to look for other devices.

The operations of the Planned Parenthood clinic were not affected and no one inside was injured.

President Clinton condemned the explosion, saying that authorities would fully investigate it.

Police dog

"There is never any excuse for violence because of someone exercising a constitutional right," he said. icon (517K/24 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)

FBI agents were called to the scene, just as they have been at recent explosions at clinics in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Atlanta.

The D.C. explosion occurred as thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators gathered in the nation's capital for the annual Right to Life march protesting the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion. Wednesday is the 24th anniversary of that decision.

 
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