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Europe

Police detonate parcel destined for French embassy

Video by Jonathan CRANE

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-11-04

Greek police detonated a suspicious parcel addressed to the French embassy in Athens, police sources said on Thursday. The latest suspicious mailing comes days after several package bombs were discovered at embassies in Athens.

AFP - Greek police announced Thursday that a 14th parcel bomb had been intercepted and detonated after staff at the French embassy raised the alarm over a package delivered to them.
   
The device was ostensibly sent from the Orthodox archbishopric of Athens, but explosives had been hidden inside a hollowed-out copy of a book, police said.
   
In Paris, France confirmed its Athens embassy had received a parcel bomb.
   
"The French embassy in Athens received a package whose delivery arrangements appeared suspicious," French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said.
   
"Our embassy contacted the competent Greek authorities, who immediately launched an inquiry and have just informed us that they went ahead with the destruction of the parcel," he told AFP in Paris.
   
Greek police said the package had immediately aroused suspicions at the embassy, which sent it back to the delivery company in the southern Athens suburb of Kallithea.
   
The explosives were hidden in a volume of the complete works of George Souris, a Greek satirical poet of the 19th century.
   
The radical far-left Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei is thought to be behind the wave of parcel bombs that have been mailed to European leaders and institutions as well as foreign embassies in Athens.
   
Only one has caused any injuries, to an employee of a courier company who was burned on the hand when a parcel addressed to the Mexican embassy ignited.
   
Authorities bolstered security arrangements at Athens embassies in the wake of the attacks and halted all foreign mail and parcel deliveries for two days to enable a thorough re-examination of pending dispatches.
   
Police have made two arrests and appealed for information leading to the capture of five men, aged between 21 and 30.
   
The attacks come in the run-up to local elections in Greece and in a climate of social tension against draconian austerity cuts imposed by the government to turn around the recession-hit economy following an unprecedented debt crisis.

 

Date created : 2010-11-04

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