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Police defuse parcel bomb at Greek embassy in Rome

A parcel sent to the Greek embassy in Rome on Christmas Eve contained not a present, but a bomb. Police say the device resembled those that exploded at the Swiss and Chilean embassies last week. Are anarchists to blame?

Firefighters in front of Greek embassy in Rome

No one was injured by the parcel bomb

Bomb disposal experts defused a parcel bomb found at the Greek embassy in Rome on Monday.

Police sources said the device, which arrived at the embassy on Christmas Eve but was not opened until Monday, was similar to two bombs that went off at the Swiss and Chilean embassies last week.

Those attacks injured a Swiss embassy employee and a Chilean diplomat.

Investigators believe the device was sent by the same anarchist group that claimed responsibility for last Thursday's bombings.

The group, calling itself the Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI), said in a note found near one of the blasts that the attacks were carried out by their "Lambros Fountas revolutionary cell." The note said the group wanted to "destroy the system of domination."

Fountas was a Greek far-left activist who was killed in a gunfight with Greek police in March.

Possible links with November attacks

Armored policeman walking past cars

November's attacks triggered a massive police operation in Greece

Italian authorities said they were investigating whether the bombings were connected with a suspected far-left anarchist plot carried out in Greece in November. In that campaign, more than a dozen packages with explosives were sent to foreign embassies in Athens and European government leaders.

The incidents have raised concern that violence by European militant groups may be on the increase as governments introduce severe austerity packages in the wake of the financial crisis.

Embassies in Rome were on high alert following Monday's incident. Police were called in to investigate suspicious parcels at the missions of Denmark, Finland, Monaco, Morocco, Sweden, Ukraine and Venezuela, which were all found to be false alarms.

Author: Timothy Jones (dpa, Reuters, AFP)
Editor: Nancy Isenson

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