LACONIA — A chemical bomb left in the parking lot of the Belknap County Courthouse was safely removed by the State Police bomb squad Tuesday, Laconia police reported.

Authorities were alerted at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday by court security which initially suspected it was a drug item which had been left in the parking lot behind the courthouse.

“It looked like a meth bottle. But it was definitely a chemical bomb,” Laconia police Chief Matt Canfield said.

He said the State Police bomb squad was called to the site, where they removed the bomb and detonated it at another location, Canfield said.

There were no injuries, he said.

Chemical bombs contain a combination of substances which, when mixed, can cause an explosion. The bombs are detonated when the container is moved or jostled, Canfield explained.

“If someone had been close enough (to the device) they could have been injured,” Canfield said.

The courthouse, which houses the Belknap Superior Court clerk’s office and courtrooms, the Belknap County Attorney’s Office, the Registry of Deeds and state Probation and Parole Office, remained opened, as did the adjacent Laconia Courthouse where the District, Probate and Family courts are located.

Canfield said Wednesday afternoon police had no suspects, but are examining video captured by surveillance cameras which continuously monitor activity around the courthouse.

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