The packages were addressed to Belgian, Dutch and Mexican embassies in Athens [AFP]

Greek police say they have intercepted a parcel bomb that was addressed to Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, after another package exploded at a delivery service in Athens, the capital.

"One of the explosive devices that the suspects were carrying was addressed to the president of the French Republic," a police spokesman told the Reuters news agency.

Three other parcels were addressed to the embassies of Belgium, the Netherlands and Mexico, with the latter detonating at a courier company, injuring a female employee.

Police were able to detonate the remaining packages in controlled explosions after they were found on Monday.

Two suspects - men aged 22 and 24 - have been arrested in Athens.

Police said there appeared to be no link between the attempted attacks and al-Qaeda, instead suggesting leftist groups behind arson attacks on the offices and homes of politicians could have played a part.

The suspects were both carrying handguns, and one was wearing a wig, a baseball cap and a bulletproof vest, police said.

France has not yet officially responded to the incident, but the Dutch foreign ministry said it had been informed of the incident by the Greek authorities "and remain in close contact with them".

Attacks on government and police targets are relatively frequent in Greece and are commonly attributed to left-wing extremists, though they are usually designed to avoid causing injury.

Parcel bombs are rare, but a similar device fatally injured the then police minister's security chief in June after being smuggled into the heavily-guarded ministry building.

Source: Agencies