Greece suspends all int'l air post for two days amidst wave of parcel bombs against foreign targets

19:12, November 03, 2010      

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The Greek authorities proceeded to the suspension of all international air post for the next two days, starting from early Wednesday, amidst an unprecedented wave of parcel bombs targeting foreign embassies in Athens and European leaders and institutions abroad since Monday.

No mail will leave Greece in the following hours until it is thoroughly checked by Greek experts.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi would be the recipient of the latest booby-trapped letter discovered late Tuesday at Bologna airport. The explosive parcel was on board an airplane which was re-routed to the northern Italian airport due to suspicions of dangerous cargo.

According to Greek media reports, the package ignited while Italian experts were examining it, causing no injuries. This time the sender of the explosive letter to the Italian centre-right leader was supposed to be the Greek main opposition conservative party "New Democracy."

Earlier on Tuesday, Greek police detonated two similar booby-trapped letters in the Athens International Airport addressed to the Europol in the Netherlands and the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, while another one reached the office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

On Monday, a parcel bomb addressed to French President Nicolas Sarkozy was detonated by Greek counter terrorism experts in Athens, shortly after the first explosion of such a package at the hands of a courier employee, which led to the arrests of two young suspects.

Since Monday Greek and foreign authorities have traced a dozen bomb packages addressed to foreign targets in embassies in Athens and abroad.

No group has claimed responsibility so far for the series of attacks, but local counter terrorism experts and political analysts suspected the "Conspiracy of the Nuclei of Fire," one of the domestic guerrilla groups which operate for years in the country.

They stress that the bomb devices discovered so far are not strong enough to cause major casualties, but express fears for the negative climate and image created, while Greece struggles with a severe economic crisis.

It is the first time in Greece that such a wave of attacks by letter bombs that spreads beyond the country's borders occurs. In the almost four decades of Greek guerrilla groups' activity in the country, there have been minor and major bomb attacks and shootings against political, financial, police and foreign targets.

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