2 injured in bomb blasts at Swiss, Chilean embassies in Rome

December 24, 2010

By Janet Stobart, Los Angeles Times

Two parcel bombs exploded inside the Swiss and Chilean embassies in Rome on Thursday, injuring an employee at each diplomatic post.

All other embassies in the Italian capital were on alert. Suspicious packages were examined at the nearby Ukrainian, Slovenian and Estonian embassies but all were false alarms.

Italy’s Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said the episode was “a deplorable act of violence,” and ordered a warning to be put out to all the embassies as well as Italian missions abroad.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but police suspected anarchist movements that have launched similar attacks recently.

The first blast Thursday wounded a Swiss Embassy employee who opened the small package. The worker reportedly was in danger of losing one or both hands because of the injuries.

Hours later, an explosion at the Chilean Embassy injured employee Cesar Mella, 50, who was preparing to open a package.

The Swiss mission had previously been targeted by an unknown group. An explosive device found in the street outside the embassy wall on Oct. 5 contained a message demanding the release of three convicted eco-militants held in Swiss jails.

Interior Minister Roberto Maroni, quoted in the Italian news agency ANSA, confirmed that police were following “an anarchic” trail “because there are precedents; in November similar incidents occurred at several embassies in Greece. Greece, Spain and Italy have anarchic insurgent groups that are tightly interconnected; the fact that these package bombs have arrived at two embassies lead us to think that this is the right track.”

To read more, visit: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-italy-blasts-20101224,0,5652310.story

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