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Europe

Mail deliveries resume after two-day suspension due to bomb fears

Video by Jonathan CRANE

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-11-05

Greece on Friday resumed international mail deliveries after a two-day ban following the discovery of explosive packages at embassies in Athens, addressed to foreign leaders. Officials said the parcels are believed to be part of an anarchist plot.

AFP - Greece on Friday resumed mail deliveries abroad after a two-day ban to contain a wave of parcel bombs sent to European leaders and other foreign targets in a suspected far-left plot, officials said.
   
"Deliveries resumed after midnight," a spokeswoman at Athens International Airport, the main outlet for foreign dispatches, told AFP.
   
The parcel bomb plot was uncovered on Monday when two armed men -- one of them a suspected member of a anarchist far-left group -- were caught with a booby-trapped package addressed to French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
   
Another parcel bomb they had mailed to the Mexican embassy had previously ignited inside a courier company, burning the hand of a female employee.
   
Fourteen packages containing explosives in dossiers and hollowed-out books have been tracked since, including one addressed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel that reached her office in Berlin, and another meant for Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi that was found aboard a courier plane that had been diverted to Bologna.
   
Most of the parcels had been mailed to foreign embassies in Athens.
   
The two men, a 22-year-old chemistry student and a 24-year-old suspected anarchist, were charged with terrorism on Thursday.
   
European bomb detection experts are to meet Friday to examine whether Europe needs to step up air cargo security measures following the Greek parcel bombs and others sent to the United States from Yemen last week.
   
Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas said Wednesday that the plot had "nothing to do with any kind of organised international terrorism."
   
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 economy following an unprecedented debt crisis.
 

 

Date created : 2010-11-05

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