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Letter bombs target embassies in Athens

Greek police have discovered a number of package bombs addressed to foreign embassies in the capital Athens. Three have exploded, injuring a delivery worker, and police have destroyed others with controlled blasts.

View of Athens

Athens was the site of several parcel bomb attacks this week

A string of letter bombs targeted embassies in Athens on Tuesday and police suspect far-left domestic groups of planning the attacks.

Police spokesman Athanassios Kokalakis said an individual on a motorbike threw an explosive device into the Swiss embassy courtyard in Athens. The object detonated with a "deafening blast" but no injuries were reported.

Another bomb exploded at the Russian embassy without injury.

Earlier, a suspicious package was discovered at the Bulgarian embassy, which was then cordoned off for a bomb squad to destroy the suspect package with a controlled blast.

One package addressed to the Chilean embassy was detonated by police in a mail delivery van outside Parliament in Athens, while one addressed to the German embassy was discovered at the office of a courier company.

The blasts come a day after police foiled a parcel-bombing campaign in the city on Monday. Authorities intercepted and defused several other packages with explosive material inside that were addressed to other embassies.

One bomb exploded at a delivery service, leaving a worker hospitalized with burns. That bomb was addressed to the Mexican embassy, according to Greek officials.

Sarkozy targeted

Motorcycle police detained two Greek men, aged 22 and 24, several hundred meters from the site of that blast Monday in central Athens.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy

Sarkozy refused to comment on the letter bomb addressed to him

According to police, the men were armed and carrying two package bombs addressed to French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Belgian embassy.

Police on Monday also intercepted a third bomb found at another delivery company and destined for the Dutch embassy.

Officials suspect the latest parcel bomb attacks were linked to Greek leftist guerrillas. Small bomb and gas canister attacks have been frequent in Greece since 2008, when the police killing of a teenager sparked the country's worst riots in decades.

Author: Natalia Dannenberg, Holly Fox (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)
Editor: Matt Hermann

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