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Greek police say eight 'suspect' packages found at Athens post office

Une femme dépose des lettres dans une boîte aux lettres postale, le 17 mars 2017 à Athènes, en Grèce
Angelos Tzortzinis (AFP)
Packages found to contain 'similar mechanism' to explosive packages sent to Germany, France

Greek police on Monday said they had located eight "suspect" packages similar to mail bombs sent by a domestic militant group to key economic institutions last week.

The packages, intended for "officials at European countries" were located at the Greek postal service's main sorting center north of Athens, a police statement said.

The grim discovery comes as authorities are investigating booby-trapped mail sent to the International Monetary Fund in Paris and the German finance ministry -- presumably by a far-left group called the Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei.

One person, a secretary working at the IMF's Paris office, was hurt with injuries to her face and hands.

The package sent to Germany was intercepted by security, causing no injuries.

The Fire Nuclei group claimed the parcel sent to the German finance ministry in a statement posted on an anti-establishment website, but remained mum on the package sent to the IMF offices. Authorities believe that the group was behind both.

The Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei is "likely behind" the Paris attack, a Greek police source told AFP earlier this week, adding that French investigators had told their Greek counterparts that the letter was sent from Athens.

Fragments of Greek stamps were found at the IMF offices where the mail bomb exploded.

A source close to the investigation in Paris last week said the mail bomb consisted of two tubes of black powder and a makeshift electric trigger.

A Greek police source on Monday said the eight additional packages had been scanned and "found to contain a similar mechanism."

Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, which is considered a terror organisation by Washington, sent mail bombs to foreign embassies in Greece and to European leaders in 2010.

The outfit, which has links to the Italy-based Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI), has only claimed last week's German finance ministry hit. 

In 2011, several of its members, many of them very young, were convicted of "participating in a criminal organisation" and given long prison sentences.

Three years later, the group announced its return and has since been committing sporadic attacks.

(Staff with AFP)

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