Package bomb at Greek Embassy in Paris

AP News
Posted: Dec 12, 2011 2:59 PM
Package bomb at Greek Embassy in Paris

A package bomb sent to the Greek Embassy in Paris was discovered by authorities and safely disabled Monday, and caused no injuries or damages, an embassy official said.

The package arrived with no external markings, prompting suspicious embassy staff to call the police, the official said. The embassy was evacuated for about 40 minutes.

French police discovered a low-power explosive device inside, and detonated it under controlled conditions, the official said. The official was not authorized to be publicly named.

The Greek Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying the letter was delivered this morning to the embassy, listing the ambassador as recipient. It said it did not list a sender, but the indication was that it had been sent from Italy.

The anti-terrorism units of the criminal brigade and the judicial police were put on the investigation, opened for attempted murder and "criminal association with a terrorist enterprise aimed at building an explosive device," police said.

In Rome last week, a letter bomb exploded at the office of a tax collection agency, wounding an official. An Italian anarchist group claimed responsibility for the bomb and for sending another explosive earlier in the week to Deutsche Bank in Germany, which was intercepted.

Last year around Christmas, the anarchist group sent package bombs to three embassies in Rome, injuring two people.

The recent incidents come amid strikes and widespread public anger in both Italy and Greece over tough spending cutbacks, aimed at helping governments bring down debts that have threatened the shared euro currency and shaken markets worldwide.

Greece's finance minister said Monday that new spending cuts are ahead but promised not to raise taxes.

Meanwhile, in Italy authorities said bullets were found inside mail meant for Rome's mayor and the country's justice minister.

Mayor Gianni Alemanno says an envelope, addressed to his secretary and containing two bullets, apparently aimed to take advantage of "tense" times. He told Sky TG24 TV that a note from an extremist group named after a slain Red Brigades terrorist was inside.


Elena Becatoros in Athens contributed to this report.