Greece: Suspects Carried Letter Bomb for Sarkozy

November 1, 2010 - 1:07 PM

Greece parcel bomb

A police explosive expert prepares a controlled blast in Athens, Monday, Nov. 1, 2010. A woman was wounded after a package exploded at a private delivery company, while two other suspected mail bombs were destroyed by police in controlled blasts in the capital, police officials said. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

(AP) - A mail bomb addressed to the Mexican Embassy exploded at a delivery service in central Athens on Monday, burning one worker. Two Greek men were arrested nearby carrying pistols and mail bombs, one addressed to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, police said.

A bomb in a package addressed to the Dutch Embassy was seized at another Athens delivery company.

Greek authorities said one of the men is suspected of belonging to Conspiracy Nuclei of Fire, a domestic anarchist group that has carried out dozens of arson and crude bomb attacks - part of a wave of violence that broke out following massive riots triggered by the police shooting of a teenager in December, 2008.

The incident began when a bomb went off in the hands of a female delivery-service employee, leaving her with injuries that hospital officials said were not life-threatening.

Police who rushed to the scene spotted two suspicious-looking men at a bus-stop a few hundred yards (meters) away and took them into custody. The men, 22 and 24, were carrying handguns and magazines in waist-pouches, and one was wearing a wig, a baseball cap, and a bulletproof vest, police said.

They also had a bomb addressed to Sarkozy and another for the Belgian Embassy in Athens, police said.

There is an international security alert over two powerful bombs mailed from Yemen last week to Chicago-area synagogues.

But police, the post office and private delivery companies say screening procedures have not changed significantly since a senior official at the country's public order ministry was killed last year in a letter-bomb blast linked to Greek militants.

Parcels sent by private courier are sealed in front of a company employee and the sender, and they are only X-rayed if they pass through an airport.