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Atlanta bombing suspect arrested

A man accused of the 1996 Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta, Georgia, and in attacks at an abortion clinic and a gay nightclub, was arrested yesterday in the mountains of North Carolina after five years on the run.

Eric Rudolph, 36, an army veteran and skilled outdoorsman, had been on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list and had eluded a massive manhunt for five years. The FBI confirmed his identity through a fingerprint match.

"Eric Robert Rudolph, the most notorious American fugitive on the FBI's most wanted list has been captured and will face American justice," Attorney General John Ashcroft said. "The American people, most importantly the victims of these terrorist attacks, can rest easier."

The FBI believes that Rudolph placed a bomb hidden in a knapsack in Atlanta's crowded Centennial Olympic Park on 27 July 1996 during the summer Olympic games. The explosion at the crowded park killed one woman and injured 111 other people.

Rudolph was charged in 1998 with that bombing and three others, which, in all, killed two and wounded more than 150 people, the FBI said.

Rudolph is believed to follow Christian Identity, a white supremacist religion that is anti-gay, anti-Semitic and anti-foreigner. Some of the four bombs Rudolph was charged with planting included messages from the shadowy "Army of God".