Friday, December 24, 2010

EUROPE: ROME: PARCEL BOMBS IN EMBASSIES WITH INJURIES

Catholic Online REPORT -Two parcel bombs detonated in two separate embassies in Rome. Two people were seriously injured in the blasts - a mailroom employee at the Swiss embassy may lose a hand in the bombing, and another person at the Chilean embassy suffered injuries.

A mailroom employee at the Swiss embassy may lose a hand in the parcel bombing in Rome, and another person at the Chilean embassy suffered injuries.

A mailroom employee at the Swiss embassy may lose a hand in the parcel bombing in Rome, and another person at the Chilean embassy suffered injuries.

"There is serious threat against foreign embassies in Rome," Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told reporters after the explosions.

"It is too early to know the origin of the threat. We are checking all the embassies in Rome and the Italian embassies abroad for suspicious packages. We should avoid being alarmist. The police are investigating the situation," he said.

A "suspicious package" was also found at the Ukrainian Embassy in the Italian capital -- but it turned out not to be dangerous.

Police began their sweeps of all embassies and consulates after the blasts. Many countries have two diplomatic missions in the city, one to the Italian state and a separate one to the Vatican.

Bomb threats were phoned to City Hall but no other bombs have yet been discovered. There has been no claim of responsibility for the attacks.

The bombings come a day after police blanketed Rome in heavy security due to student demonstrations.

The demonstrations passed off largely peacefully, but protests a week earlier resulted in many minor injuries and millions of dollars in damage.

In November, police discovered 14 parcel bombs coming from Greece, most of which were sent to various embassies in Athens. Police intercepted and destroyed most of them, but a woman at a courier office was wounded by one of the devices and another device exploded in the courtyard of the Swiss Embassy.

Other parcel bombs were addressed to European targets including the leaders of Germany and Italy.

Two men accused of participating in the bombings were taken into custody after they were arrested in Athens in possession of two parcel bombs, Glock pistols, a bulletproof vest, and a wig.

Greek authorities said that they believed the letter bombs was the work of a home-grown Greek terrorist group that does not have ties to international organizations like al Qaeda.

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