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Precious stones stolen in hold-up

An armed man escaped on foot with a tray of diamonds after holding up a jeweller's in Valletta yesterday evening.

The hold-up took place at about 6.30 p.m. at the shop of Jos Debono Jewellers Ltd in Sta Lucija Street, which is a pedestrian area.

The man, who was brandishing a pistol, escaped with a tray containing diamonds, police sources said. The value of the haul has not yet been established but it was described as running into several thousands.

The owner and a shop assistant, who were in the shop at the time, were not injured, although they were both in a state of shock when the police arrived on the scene soon afterwards.

An intensive police search is under way.

Magistrate Jacqueline Padovani is conducting an inquiry.

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