Greece Suspends Foreign Airmail Service After Attacks
Greece has suspended international airmail for 48 hours after more than a dozen suspicious packages were sent to targets in Greece and across Europe. Police are looking for five men suspected of being part of an extreme left-wing group.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for improved security for air cargo after one of the packages was sent to her office in Berlin. Italian police are investigating after a package ignited at Bologna airport.
The pilot of a private courier plane was told to divert to Bologna after it emerged that the package was addressed to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. At least 11 similar packages have been found in Athens, mostly addressed to embassies although one was meant for French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Greek police suspended the airmail service to give them time to screen mail and parcels before they were sent abroad. Controlled explosions were carried out on two parcel bombs at Athens airport’s cargo terminal on Tuesday evening. The parcels were addressed to international police organisation Europol in the Netherlands and the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.
Prime Minister George Papandreou said the authorities were determined to protect Greek citizens, adding that “democracy will not allow itself to be terrorised”.
Italian police have stepped up security at Rome’s main airports, Ciampino and Fiumicino. Secret services are reported to be investigating a possible link between extreme leftist Greek and Italian groups.