Police: Fire in ministry car lot was arson

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Police: Fire in ministry car lot was arson

An arsonist destroyed three cars in the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs parking lot in Yeouido, central Seoul, early yesterday, police investigators said.

According to investigators, the fire that broke out at 5:11 a.m. in the ministry’s outdoor parking lot was set deliberately. No casualties were reported.

Police said CCTVs installed around the parking lot caught a group of people entering the parking lot before the fire was set. They said investigation is centering around an organization whose members brandished flammable paint thinner at a sit-in protest at the ministry Wednesday night to demand they be accepted as war veterans.

Witnesses reportedly told investigators that they heard a blast and saw the fire erupt. About 30 firefighters were immediately dispatched to the scene and had the blaze knocked down within five minutes.

Police found two 50-kilogram LPG containers placed between the burned cars - a Hyundai Santa Fe SUV and Renault Samsung SM5 and Hyundai Sonata sedans - as well as papers used to start the fire.

By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

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