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Bomb Defused at Greek Embassy in Rome After Attacks

Bomb Defused at Greek Embassy in Rome After Attacks
Italian Carabinieri stand in front of the Greek embassy in Rome after an explosive package was found. Photographer: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

Dec. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Police defused a package bomb at the Greek embassy in Rome, four days after two people were injured when similar explosives blew up at two other diplomatic missions in the Italian capital.

“The package was discovered this morning” and it’s been “deactivated by the bomb squad,” Efi Theodoropoullou, a Greek embassy spokeswoman, said in a phone interview. “The contents were similar to those at the Chilean and Swiss embassies.”

Grigoris Delavekouras, a Greece Foreign Ministry spokesman in Athens, confirmed that the parcel contained explosives and that Italian police authorities are investigating the incident.

A suspicious package reported earlier today at Venezuela’s embassy in Rome turned out to be a false alarm, a spokeswoman for the Rome police said by phone. A bomb alert at the Finnish embassy to the Holy See in Rome today was also a false alarm, a spokeswoman there said. Police were also probing an alert at Albania’s embassy to Italy, a Carabinieri spokesman said.

Two package bombs exploded on Dec. 23 at the Swiss and Chilean embassies in Rome, injuring one employee at each mission, according to police and government officials. The attacks probably were carried out by anarchists, Deputy Interior Minister Alfredo Mantovano told Milan newspaper Il Giornale in an interview published on Dec. 24, adding that there are several hundred anarchists in Italy.

A spate of parcel bombs in November in Athens prompted a 48-hour suspension of international mail deliveries in Greece. Devices exploded at the Swiss and Russian embassies in the Greek capital.

Rome and other Italian cities have been the scene of violent student protests against Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s legislation that will overhaul the country’s university system. Italy’s parliament passed the bill Dec. 24.

Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno said the embassy incidents weren’t related to the recent violence in Rome and the police are pursuing international leads, according to remarks broadcast on SkyTG 24 on Dec. 24.

To contact the reporters on this story: Lorenzo Totaro in Rome at ltotaro@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Fraher at jfraher@bloomberg.net

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