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France

Letter bomb that exploded at IMF offices in Paris was ‘sent from Greece’

© Christophe Archambault, AFP | French police stand guard near the IMF’s offices in Paris on March 16, 2017

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-03-16

An envelope that exploded at the European offices of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Paris on Thursday carried a Greek return address and purported to have been sent by an opposition party official, Greece’s public order minister said.

"French authorities just informed us that it was mailed from Greece,” Nikos Toskas told Ant1 Television.

A female employee of the IMF suffered injuries to her face and arms on Thursday when it blew up as she opened it, she was also hurt in the eardrum because of the "violent noise" the police chief said.

The secretary, whose hearing was affected, is receiving treatment, but her injuries are not life-threatening.

The letter was intended for the IMF's European representative, according to police. Jeffrey Franks, a 24-year veteran of the fund, has been director of the IMF's Europe office since March 2015, which is located in an upscale part of Paris.

The explosion was a homemade device, with police chief Michel Cadot describing it as, "like a big fire cracker".

Earlier in the day, a Greek militant group, the Conspiracy of Fire Cells, had claimed responsibility for a similar package containing explosives that was intercepted by German authorities on Wednesday.

Similar pattern to Greek group?

That package, addressed to German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, had listed Adonis Georgiadis, vice-chairman of Greece’s conservative New Democracy party, as its sender.

Public order minister Toskas said Thursday’s letter bomb to Paris had been sent in the name of Vasilis Kikilias, a senior New Democracy official.

Kikilias, a former public order minister, could not be contacted for comment.

“It is not at all pleasant that these parcels originated from our country but the issue of terrorism affects all European countries,” Toskas told Antl.

The Conspiracy of Fire Cells has previously claimed responsibility for a wave of parcel bombs sent to foreign embassies in Athens in 2010.

President François Hollande called the parcel bomb an “attack” and said French authorities would do all they could to find those responsible for the incident.

France remains in a state of emergency after a string of deadly Islamic extremist attacks over the past two years.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP, REUTERS)

Date created : 2017-03-16

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