A letter bomb containing handmade explosives went off after being opened at the offices of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Paris on Thursday. A female employee at the IMF was injured on her arms and face when she opened the letter bomb. The incident set Europe on alert as the letter bomb exploded in Paris a day after a parcel with explosives was detected in the German Finance Ministry in Berlin. A Greek anarchist organization claimed responsibility for the bomb in Germany and threatened with more actions. Anti-terror units in Greece investigate whether more suspicious parcels or parcel bombs were mailed to Europe.
The explosion was caused by a “fairly homemade” device, the French capital’s police chief, Michel Cadot, told reporters. At least one person was injured. Police said there had been telephone threats prior to the incident.
The IMF employee received injuries to her arm and face, BFM TV reported.
The Paris police prefect has said that the device which exploded at the IMF office was sent by post. An IMF employee suffered facial injuries, presumably caused by a handmade explosive, police said.
At least three people were at the IMF office at the time of the explosion, police said. Security services are investigating the origins of the parcel.
Police said there had been telephone threats prior to the Thursday explosion, but offered no details on whether they were linked to the incident.
IMF chief Christine Lagarde has condemned the explosion, saying it was a “cowardly act of violence.”
“We are working closely with the French authorities to investigate this incident and ensure the safety of our staff,” she said.
According to latest information by French media the letter was addressed to Poul Thomsen, the IMF’s responsible for Europe program. The injured woman is Thomsen’s assistant.
Some Greek media reported that the enveloped in Paris contained “explosives in form of fireworks.” The same kind of explosives have been reportedly used in the parcel in Germany.
On Wednesday, a parcel containing explosives was detected in the German finance ministry.The parcel was sent from Greece. It was addressed to finance minister Wolfgang Schauble, while the sender was cited as the vice president of New Democracy.
Greek anarchist terror organization “Conspiracy of Cells of Fire” claimed responsibility for Schaeuble’s parcel on Thursday morning. Many of the organization members are in prison. they had mailed parcel bombs in Greece and abroad in the past.
According to latest information by Epsilon TV, French police sent a picture of the remaining of the exploded letter to Greek authorities.
As investigation is underway, it is not clear whether there is connection between the incidents in Paris and Berlin.
Letter bomb IMF
Greek media report that another lawmaker from New Democracy, Vassilis Kikilias, was cited as ‘sender’ on the letter that exploded in the IMF offices in Paris earlier on Thursday.
Contrary to earlier reports, the letter was addressed to Jeffry Franks, director in the European Affairs and not Poul Thomsen.
The mechanism was similar to the parcel sent to German FinMin Schaeuble.