NEWS

More bombs put police on high alert

Authorities were reeling yesterday and the police was on high alert after letter bombs exploded at the Swiss and Russian embassies in Athens, causing no injuries, and three more similar devices, addressed to other embassies, were intercepted. A package bomb was also found in the office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin later in the day. It bore the return address of the Greek Finance Ministry, according to Der Spiegel newspaper. German police evacuated the office of the chancellor, who was absent, and neutralized the bomb by using a water cannon. Meanwhile, another two suspicious devices were found in the cargo terminal of Athens International Airport late last night. One was destroyed in a controlled explosion and the other was being inspected by police. Speaking after the explosions at the Swiss and Russian embassies, government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis said the efforts of domestic terrorists would be thwarted. «Their efforts to disturb the peace and order of Greek society will be in vain,» he said. Yesterday’s barrage of bomb attacks, and attempted blasts, came on the back of several others on Monday, for which two suspects are being held. One is a suspected member of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire, a urban guerilla group responsible for a string of bloodless bombings. Police said there were clear similarities between yesterday’s and Monday’s attacks but did not release the composition of the bombs nor which particular domestic terrorist group is behind the attacks. They did say, however, that the bombs used in yesterday’s attacks were almost identical to those intercepted on Monday. The bomb sent to the Swiss Embassy went off shortly before 1 p.m., when it was thrown into the front yard of the embassy by an employee. A device sent to the Bulgarian Embassy was destroyed by police shortly afterward. Another letter bomb addressed to the Chilean Embassy was destroyed outside Parliament, after a courier worker regarded it as suspicious and reported it. A fourth package, addressed to the German Embassy, was returned to the courier firm that had delivered it and destroyed. The police were put on alert on Monday after a package exploded in the hands of a courier firm worker near central Athens, causing minor injuries. The bomb had been addressed to the Mexican Embassy. Police then intercepted and destroyed three more letter bombs: one addressed to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the other to the Belgian Embassy and the third to the Embassy of the Netherlands.