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Two packages explode at two embassies in Rome

Dec 23, 2010 07:28 PM IST India India

Rome: Bombs exploded at two embassies in Rome on Thursday, police said.

The first explosion, a package bomb at the Swiss Embassy, seriously wounded the person who opened it, police said.

A second bomb exploded at the Chilean Embassy shortly afterwards, wounding one person, who has been taken to the hospital, police said.

And a "suspicious package" was found at the Ukrainian Embassy in the Italian capital, police said, adding that security forces were on the way to investigate.

Bomb threats were phoned to City Hall and to another government office in Rome, the mayor's office said. No bombs have been found in either location.

The bombings come a day after police blanketed Rome in heavy security due to student demonstrations.

Last month, at least 14 parcel bombs were sent out from Athens, Greece, mostly to embassies in that city. One person was wounded and a second bomb exploded in the courtyard of the Swiss Embassy in Greece, but most of the other bombs were destroyed safely by police.

In Thursday's attacks, a 53-year-old mail room worker in the Swiss Embassy was badly injured in both hands, and may lose one, police said.

He was taken to Humberto Primo hospital in Rome, according to police. They have not released his name, but said he was born in Switzerland.

There was no warning of the attack, the Swiss Foreign Ministry in Bern said.

A fire department bomb unit was on the scene at the Swiss Embassy, police said. Italian police are investigating the incident, the Swiss Foreign Ministry said.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the Swiss attack, which took place about noon.

The explosion happened in the mail room at the Swiss Embassy, which also houses the ambassador's residence.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini released a statement of solidarity with "the Swiss ambassador and with all the staff of the Embassy. They were victim of a violent act that we firmly condemn."