Parcels Containing Bullets, Explosives Found in Italy, France

Posted December 12th, 2011 at 4:30 pm (UTC-5)
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Italian authorities said Monday police in Rome discovered two suspicious packages mailed to Italy's justice minister and the mayor of Rome, in the latest cases of threatening letters sent across Europe in recent days.

Authorities said the packages, discovered at Rome postal facilities, contained bullets. They said a group named after a slain Red Brigades terrorist had addressed the almost identical packages to Italian Justice Minister Paola Severino and Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno. The Red Brigades was a far-left terrorist group that carried out attacks in Italy in the 1970s and 1980s.

In France meanwhile, police said an anonymous parcel containing explosives was found and safely destroyed at the Greek embassy in Paris Monday.

The Greek Foreign Ministry said the package, addressed to the ambassador, appeared suspicious because no sender's details were displayed. It said the parcel was apparently sent from Italy.

Italian police stepped up their monitoring of mail after an Italian anarchist group mailed two letter bombs Friday. One of the packages exploded and wounded a senior Italian tax official. The other letter bomb was sent to Deutsche Bank chief executive Josef Ackermann, but security personnel at the German lender's Frankfurt headquarters intercepted the device before it could detonate.

The package addressed to Ackermann contained a message in Italian referring to bankers as “bloodsuckers.”

Anti-capitalist protesters have been rallying around the world against what they see as the excesses of the global financial system. Italians also have been protesting government pension cuts and tax increases aimed at preventing the highly indebted country from descending into bankruptcy.