UC-Santa Cruz vows to find fire bombers

Aug. 4, 2008 at 10:57 AM
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SANTA CRUZ, Calif., Aug. 4 (UPI) -- University of California-Santa Cruz officials say they are determined to bring to justice those responsible for the firebombings of researchers' homes.

Police say people in the homes of two University of California-Santa Cruz scientists engaged in biomedical research involving the use of animals awoke early Saturday to small blasts and fires, one of which forced a scientist to flee his home with his family through a second-story window, The New York Times reported Monday.

University of California-Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal said the attacks were the latest in a series of threats and incidents perpetrated by activists opposed to using animals in medical research.

"These unconscionable acts put the researchers, their families -- including their children -- and their neighbors in grave danger," Blumenthal said, adding that the weekend attacks were being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, campus police and the California state fire marshal's office.

The Times said the firebombings came shortly after pamphlets appeared in a Santa Cruz, Calif., coffee shop warning of attacks against "animal abusers everywhere" and printing the names of scientific researchers.

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