Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Explosive package seized at Merkel's office

A suspicious package containing an explosive substance was found at German Chancellor Angela Merkel's offices on Tuesday and disarmed, the Federal Crime Office (BKA) said.

The BKA said the parcel was tested for dangerous materials on site at the Chancellery and made harmless with a water canon.

The website of Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel reported a UPS package addressed to Merkel contained gunpowder.

"It looked like someone was trying to send a message," a security official told the paper.

The news agency DPA reported the briefcase-sized package was delivered to the Chancellery around 1:00 pm with the return address of the Greek Economy Ministry. Shortly thereafter the mail room was shut by federal police.

"During routine checks on mail received, a small package was discovered with suspicious features that pointed to the possibility of explosives inside," government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement. "No one was injured."

Merkel was in Belgium when the package was discovered.

The package in Berlin was intercepted after parcel bombs exploded at the Russian and Swiss embassies in Athens on Tuesday, part of a wave of attacks linked to leftist extremists in Greece.

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Source photo: Stefan Müller /

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