Greek police defuse another bomb

Parcel bomb addressed to French embassy in Athens detonated by police, the 14th such package found this week.

    The latest Greek parcel bomb to be detonated was addressed to the French embassy in Athens [AFP]

    Greek police have carried out another controlled explosion on a parcel bomb addressed to the French embassy, the latest in a string of such packages received throughout the capital this week.

    Officials at the consulate building in Athens refused to accept the parcel, reportedly concealed in a large book, on Thursday and it was returned to the courier company where it was then detonated.   

    Since Monday 14 packages have been sent to targets in Greece and other parts of Europe, leading Athens to impose a 48-hour suspension on air freight on Wednesday.

    Police told the Reuters news agency that they were also investigating suspicious parcels at a courier company in the Athens suburb of Markopoulo.

    Two men charged

    Small bombs exploded at the Swiss and Russian embassies in Athens on Tuesday, a parcel with explosives was intercepted at the German chancellor's office and another package addressed to Italy's prime minister caught fire when it was checked.

    Two men arrested on Monday have been accused of "terrorism" offences relating to the parcels.

    Panayotis Argyrou, 22, a chemistry student, and Gerassimos Tskalos, 24, were charged on Thursday with committing acts of terrorism, belonging to a criminal organisation, possession and use of bombs and explosives.

    The court was told that the pair were in possession of two packages, one addressed to Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, the other to the Belgian embassy in Athens.

    Both have been remanded in prison.

    The government has blamed the attacks on local leftist, anarchic groups rather than international networks.

    "All evidence shows this is a clear domestic case, with no connection with international terrorism," Dimitris Droutsas, the Greek foreign minister said previously.

    "The evidence so far shows we are dealing with extreme left, anarchist groups."

    Thre has been speculation that the devices may be intended to spur an anti-government vote in Sunday's local elections in protest against the prime minister's austerity plan.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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