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Europe’s leaders targeted by extremists

German police were last night investigating if German Chancellor Angela Merkel was one of the targets of a coordinated parcel bomb campaign blamed on Greek far-left extremists angered by deep government austerity cuts.

Nine booby-trapped packages have been discovered in Athens, largely targeting foreign embassies. The plot was uncovered on Monday when one of the makeshift devices detonated inside the offices of a courier company injuring a member of staff.

Two devices exploded at the Swiss and Russian embassies yesterday while being handled by staff but nobody was hurt, police said. A third was detonated at the Bulgarian embassy in a controlled explosion.

Police searched the streets after Monday's explosion and arrested two men in disguise carrying handguns and with a mailbomb addressed to French President Nicolas Sarkozy. One of the detainees was already wanted by police.

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