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FBI investigating suspicious device outside Little Rock clinic

September 25, 1997

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ Trucks similar to the one used in the Oklahoma City bombing were parked outside a pair of abortion clinics today, touching off bomb scares just before President Clinton spoke across town. No explosives were found.

Dogs sniffed out suspected explosive devices in the trucks, which blocked access to the clinics, but the city’s bomb crew said all it found was road flare residue in the trucks’ tool boxes.

``This was some type of protest,″ bomb crew chief Bernie Sherwood said. ``They wanted to take the concern that we had with the Oklahoma City bombing and the Ryder truck and maximize the threat for a protest.″

Police said the same person rented both trucks; an investigation was continuing.

A truck laden with fertilizer and fuel exploded outside the Oklahoma City federal building April 19, 1995, killing 168.

The abortion clinics are three and seven miles away from Central High School, where Clinton honored the first black students to attend the school 40 years ago.

The president appeared at Central about 10:15 a.m. _ five minutes after he was scheduled to speak. It wasn’t immediately clear if the delay was caused by the discoveries.

Bill McEntire, a firefighter at the scene of one clinic, said emergency crews were called in after someone blocked traffic and ran away. Some nearby buildings were evacuated.

Bomb-sniffing dogs made a pass through Central High this morning before any of the dignitaries arrived. No incidents were reported near the school.

``I’m sure that this will take away from the program that is taking place today (at Central),″ said Carolyn Izard, the director of one of the two clinics, Little Rock Family Planning.

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