Explosions hit embassies in Rome

Two people were injured in separate explosions at the Swiss and Chilean embassies in Rome on Thursday, authorities said.

Explosions hit embassies in Rome

Two people were injured in separate explosions at the Swiss and Chilean embassies in Rome on Thursday, authorities said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The Italian news agency ANSA said a suspect package had been found at the Ukrainian mission but the embassy later said no dangerous items had been found after a search of the package.

"Nothing has been found so far. We are safe for now," said embassy spokesman Yevhen Mitskevich.

Police said the injured Swiss embassy employee had been taken to hospital in central Rome suffering serious wounds to his hands after he opened a package in the mailroom.

Bomb disposal experts searched the Swiss embassy offices, located in a prosperous part of Rome which houses many foreign embassies, but staff remained in the building following the incident, which occurred at around midday (1100 GMT).

"The ambassador is still on site, the embassy has not been evacuated," Maurizio Mezzavilla, a spokesman for the Carabinieri, Italy's paramilitary police told reporters.

Swiss Foreign Ministry spokesman Lars Knuchel said that so far no one had claimed responsibility for the act.

"The man is an employee of the embassy, he was injured while he was opening a package received in the mailroom which blew up in his hands," Mezzavilla told reporters.

The explosion at the Chilean embassy in early afternoon, hours after the earlier incident.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini condemned the incident at the Swiss embassy.

"We express our full solidarity with the Swiss ambassador and with all the personnel of this diplomatic representation, which has been the target of a deplorable act of violence that deserves our strongest condemnation," he said in a statement.

The explosions follow the discovery of a rudimentary device in an empty underground train in Rome on Tuesday. However, police said that it lacked a detonator and tests showed it contained no explosive.

Reuters

Last Mod: 24 Aralık 2010, 09:36
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