A Uruguayan army bomb squad dismantled an "incomplete" explosive device Wednesday in front of an office tower housing the Israeli embassy, officials told AFP.

The embassy is located in a waterfront commercial district of Montevideo.

The device was contained in a sardine can and had a battery power source and cable but no explosive material, the military said.

Army spokesman Yamandu Lessa said the contraption had been deemed an "incomplete device."

It was the third such episode near the Israel embassy since late last year, Lessa said, according to AFP.

In January, authorities in Uruguay detonated what turned out to be a fake bomb found near the Israeli embassy.

The convincing-looking fake - complete with fuse, detonator and other elements found in a real bomb - was detected some 70 meters (230 feet) from the building by bomb-sniffing dogs patrolling the area with their Republican Guard handlers.

Uruguay later expelled a senior Iranian diplomat the planting of the dummy bomb.