Anarchists thought to be behind Rome bombs

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The Independent Online

Package bombs exploded at the Swiss and Chilean embassies in Rome yesterday wounding two people who opened them in attacks that bore similarities to bombings in Greece last month.

No group claimed responsibility, but the Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said anarchists were thought to be behind the blasts in Rome. "Various elements lead us to believe that this is the correct path," he was quoted as saying by the ANSA news agency.

On 2 November, suspected Greek anarchists sent 14 mail bombs to foreign embassies in Athens, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi. Two of the devices exploded, causing no injuries.

A group called Conspiracy Nuclei of Fire claimed responsibility for the Greek blasts. It called on militants to step up their action, and Greek police noted that, in the past, acts of "solidarity" have been carried out between Greek and Italian militant groups. All embassies in Rome were informed of the blasts and Italian diplomats abroad were urged to take precautions.

The first bomb exploded inside the Swiss embassy at around noon. The man who opened it was taken to hospital with serious hand injuries, but his life was not in danger, the Swiss Ambassador Bernardino Regazzoni said. He said that the Swiss embassy in Athens had been a target of the November letter bomb campaign and that a device had been found outside the grounds of the Rome embassy in October. At the time, some had speculated that an anarchist-ecological group might have been responsible.

About three hours after the Swiss embassy blast, a small parcel bomb exploded inside the mailroom of the Chilean embassy, slightly wounding an official.

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