Greek embassy is latest target of 'anarchist' mail bomb campaign

Bomb disposal experts defused a parcel bomb that was delivered to the Greek embassy in Rome yesterday, four days after similar devices exploded at two other embassies, wounding two people.

Carabinieri Colonel Maurizio Mezzavilla said the bomb was similar to the ones that exploded last Thursday at the Chilean and Swiss embassies. An anarchist group with reported ties to Greek anarchists claimed responsibility for those blasts.

The Greek ambassador Michael Kambanis said: "Having been done in the same way, we can just hypothesise that there is the same hand behind it." He added that he knew of no specific claim of responsibility.

A Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Gregoris Delavekouras said from Athens that no one was harmed in the latest incident, in part because heightened security measures had already been put in place.

"The embassy was evacuated and the staff assembled some distance away from the building, so that everyone could be accounted for," he said.

Police, carabinieri and firefighters massed around the building yesterday while the Greek embassy staff lingered outside. The street, in Parioli, a residential district, remained open to traffic.

Ambassador Kambanis said the package, hand addressed to the embassy, was discovered at about 10.30am.

There have been several other reports of suspicious packages at embassies in Rome. Police responded to reports yesterday at the embassies of Venezuela, Finland, Monaco and Denmark; all proved to be false alarms.