Fri, Feb 09, 2007 - Page 6 News List

UK cops urge letter bomb vigilance for office workers

AGENCIES , LONDON

Companies and office workers are being advised to take extra care when handling mail after police said a series of letter bombs had injured six people across Britain.

Police said the bombs appeared to be designed to shock rather than kill and the motive was not clear.

"If companies have in place postal screening measures, we ask them to make the best use of them," said Anton Setchell, the domestic terrorism spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers.

"If they have any suspicions about any letter or package, they should leave it unopened and call their local police immediately," he said.

Setchell said the explosives in the letters had been "of a small pyrotechnic nature" and did not contain conventional explosives.

The warning came after a blast on Wednesday at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in Swansea, Wales, which was the third in three days aimed at agencies or contractors involved in enforcing traffic rules.

Police also revealed that another bomb had hit the director of an unspecified company at his home on Saturday.

Media reports have speculated that disgruntled motorists could be to blame. However the bombs were similar to three others sent in January, one of which bore the name of jailed animal rights activist who died in 2001 while serving an 18 year jail term on arson charges.

All seven bombs were in padded envelopes.

A man described as the victim of Saturday's attack, who gave his name only as Mike, told BBC television he had received the mail bomb at home but now believed it was targeted at his business, which he did not name.

A letter bomb exploded on Tuesday at a company that handles mail for a firm that makes traffic regulation devices, injuring two men. On Monday, a woman was injured by a letter bomb at the headquarters of a firm managing London's congestion charge.

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