Amid mounting concern that al-Qaida may attempt to carry out attacks in Europe or the United States during the Christmas season, two package bombs that exploded Thursday at embassies in Rome are suspected of being the work of anarchists.
Police have ordered checks at all embassies in Rome after the explosions at the Swiss and Chilean embassies in the Italian capital. One person was injured in each attack.
The first explosion occurred at the Swiss embassy. A staff member who opened a package suffered serious injuries to both hands, according to Swiss Ambassador Bernardo Regazzoni. The 53-year-old victim, an embassy mailroom worker, may lose one of his hands, police said.
Approximately three hours later, a person opening a package at the Chilean Embassy was wounded in an explosion.
"It's a wave of terrorism against the embassies," Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno said. Italian authorities are investigating the possibility that anarchist groups were behind Thursday's attacks. (Reports of a third bombing at the Ukrainian Embassy in Rome were apparently erroneous.)
Italian police are reportedly consulting with counterparts in Greece, where 14 small parcel bombs were sent last month to European leaders and foreign embassies in Athens. One of the devices reached the office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. A Greek radical group claimed responsibility for those parcel bombings.