Image: Policemen at the entrance of the Swissnuclear
Fabrice Coffrini  /  AFP - Getty Images
Policemen approach the entrance of Swissnuclear in Olten, Switzerland, on March 31, 2011. Two people were injured when a letter bomb exploded, local police said.
NBC, msnbc.com and news services
updated 3/31/2011 6:44:03 AM ET 2011-03-31T10:44:03

Two people were injured when a parcel bomb exploded in the offices of a group representing the Swiss nuclear power industry, police said Thursday.

The incident happened hours before another package exploded at a military barracks in Italy, wounding one person, and authorities in Greece defused a mail bomb sent to a maximum-security prison where alleged members of an armed anarchist group are on trial.

Authorities haven't drawn a link between the incidents, but Italian news reports citing unidentified sources said Italian investigators believed they were connected. In December, Italian anarchists sent letter bombs to the embassies of Greece, Chile and Switzerland in Rome as part of a campaign with jailed comrades in Greece.

The explosion in Switzerland happened shortly after 8 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET) as staff were opening mail in the Swissnuclear's office in the northern city of Olten, police spokeswoman Thalia Schweizer said.

Thalia Schweizer said two female staff members had been taken to a hospital with superficial injuries.

The motive for the attack is still unclear.

"We can't speculate, but we are investigating," Schweizer said, adding that no claim of responsibility has been received.

Opponents of nuclear power in Switzerland have become more vocal in recent weeks as images of the stricken Fukushima reactor in Japan appear on the evening news bulletins daily. Earlier this month the Swiss government froze plans for the construction of new nuclear plants pending a safety review prompted by the radiation leak in Japan. Switzerland has five nuclear reactors currently in operation supplying some 40 percent of the country's electricity.

Swissnuclear is a lobby group representing national power companies Axpo, Alpiq and BKW.

Opponents of nuclear power in Switzerland have become more vocal in recent weeks as images of the stricken Fukushima reactor in Japan appear on the evening news bulletins daily.

Earlier this month, Switzerland suspended the approvals process for three new nuclear power stations so safety standards could be reviewed. Five nuclear reactors are in operation in Switzerland, supplying some 40 percent of the country's electricity.

In Italy, a package bomb exploded shortly after 4 p.m. at the barracks of a parachute brigade in Livorno. A senior military official, Lt. Col. Alessandro Albamonte, was injured on his hands and face after opening the package, though his life was not in danger, the army said.

Hours earlier Greek police defused a mail bomb sent to the governor of Korydallos prison in western Athens, where alleged members of an armed anarchist group are on trial.

The padded envelope had Italian postage stamps but no postmark, authorities said. It listed the sender's address as that of the four-nation military alliance, Eurofor, based in Florence, Italy.

Police officials said the device, hidden inside a CD case and rigged using a 9-volt battery, was identical to letter bombs used by the violent Italian anarchist group FAI, or Informal Anarchist Federation.

FAI claimed responsibility for the December embassy attacks in Rome.

Nine suspected members of the armed Greek anarchist group Revolutionary Nuclei of Fire are currently on trial at a court set up inside Korydallos prison, for their alleged role in bombings and other attacks. The group has claimed responsibility for a spate of parcel bombings last November, that targeted embassies and even reached the office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The Associated Press, Reuters and NBC News' Andy Eckardt contributed to this report.

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