Greek police contacting targets of parcel bombs

AP News
Posted: Mar 21, 2017 12:32 PM
Greek police contacting targets of parcel bombs

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Police in Greece were contacting Tuesday the targets of eight parcel bombs addressed to European finance officials and businesses in various European countries, after the devices were discovered and neutralized at a postal sorting office near Athens.

Authorities were not officially releasing information on who the devices were being sent to until those targeted had been informed. The parcels had been falsely labeled as being sent from academic institutions.

One of the devices had been addressed to Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who is caretaker finance minister in the Netherlands until a new Dutch ruling coalition is formed following last week's parliamentary elections, his spokesman Michel Reijns confirmed. Dijsselbloem heads the eurogroup, the meetings of the 19 finance ministers of European countries that share the euro currency.

Monday's discovery came after letter bombs were sent in recent days to the German Finance Ministry and the Paris office of the International Monetary Fund, where a small explosion injured one person.

Police said the devices contained small amounts of explosives that were not capable of causing significant damage.

A Greek militant group, Conspiracy Cells of Fire, claimed responsibility for the German attack, describing it as part of a campaign of violence by international anarchist groups. The group had been behind a 2010 spate of parcel bomb attacks in which they had sent devices to the offices of European politicians, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as foreign embassies in Athens.

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Greece has been struggling through a deep financial crisis since late 2009, and is dependent on funds from three international bailouts. The country's finances have been under strict supervision by European institutions and the IMF.