Fugitive's brother cuts off hand in protest

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A MONTH-LONG manhunt in the mountains of western North Carolina for the suspect in the bombing of an Alabama abortion clinic has provoked an unusual protest from the fugitive's brother. He has sawn off one of his hands.

The FBI confirmed yesterday that Daniel Rudolph maimed himself at his home in Charleston on Monday. He videotaped himself amputating the hand with an electric circular saw and then sent the tape to the FBI.

The grisly act was being seen as an appeal to the FBI to end its search for the brother, Eric Rudolph, believed to be hiding deep in the mountains. A $100,000 reward is on offer for information leading to his arrest.

Police have been hunting for Rudolph since charging him with the 29 January attack in Birmingham, Alabama. One off-duty policeman was killed and a nurse was seriously injured in the blast at Birmingham's New Woman All Women Clinic. The device used in the attack was a home-made nail bomb hidden in a plant pot. The FBI has also been searching for evidence linking Rudolph, 31, to the Centennial Park explosion at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

An FBI spokesman in Charleston expressed regret over the self-mutilation. Surgeons in Atlanta were struggling yesterday to re-attach Mr Rudolph's hand. Neighbours in Charleston described medical emergency personnel arriving at his home and searching on the ground for the missing limb.

FBI officials voiced hope that the fugitive would be captured by May at the latest.

In the meantime, the manhunt was extended into the popular Smokey Mountain National Park.