German government officials have confirmed media reports that a suspicious package discovered at Chancellor Angela Merkel's office in Berlin contained explosive material.
Merkel's office in central Berlin may be the target of a parcel bomb
The Berlin newspapers Berliner Morgenpost and the Tagesspiegel reported on their websites on Tuesday that explosive material was found inside a package addressed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Later, the government confirmed the presence of explosives.
The Morgenpost cited security insiders as saying that there was an explosive and a flammable device inside the package that could have exploded.
The package arrived at 1 p.m. on Tuesday while Merkel was in Belgium on an official visit. According to Seibert, the item was identified as suspicious during a routine check at the chancellery's mail center.
This news comes as parcel bombs exploded at two embassies in Athens on Tuesday, while several other explosive packages were intercepted by police in Greece. A bomb addressed to the German embassy was discovered at the office of a courier service.
On Monday authorities intercepted and defused several other packages with explosive material inside that were addressed to other embassies, as well as to French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The Tagesspiegel reported that the package in Berlin contained traces of explosives similar to those found in the bombs in Athens and that the return address was listed as the Greek Economics Ministry.
Over the weekend two freight packages on their way to the US from Yemen were intercepted in Europe and Dubai and found to contain bombs. Germany and other countries have responded by restricting both passenger and freight flights originating in Yemen.
Author: Holly Fox (AFP, dpa, Reuters)
Editor: Matt Hermann