Secretary Hit With Shrapnel as Letter Bomb Explodes at IMF
The letter bomb was mailed to the IMF office in France
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 16, 2017 1:16 PM CDT
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French police officers take position after letter bomb exploded at the French office of the International Monetary Fund, lightly injuring one person, Thursday March 16, 2017. A police official said no other damage was been reported in the incident.    (Thibault Camus)
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(Newser) – A letter exploded Thursday at the French office of the International Monetary Fund, lightly injuring one person, amid heightened security around Europe after a string of deadly attacks. The AP reports the incident came as a Greek anarchist group claimed responsibility for a failed letter bomb sent to the German Finance Ministry on Wednesday. After Thursday's explosion in Paris, staff members from the IMF office were evacuated and armed military officers and police guarded the area, in a chic district of western Paris. It's unclear who sent the homemade explosive, which was like a "big firecracker" and sent by regular mail, said Paris police chief Michel Cadot. He said the IMF office had received threatening phone calls in recent days but they were not necessarily linked to Thursday's incident.

The secretary who opened the letter was injured by shrapnel in the face and hurt in the eardrum because of a "rather violent noise," the police chief said. Police searched all four floors of the building, which also houses the World Bank office in France, Cadot said. No one else was injured and only light damages were incurred. IMF director Christine Lagarde said in a statement that she was informed about the explosion while on a trip to Germany. "I condemn this cowardly act of violence and reaffirm the IMF's resolve to continue our work in line with our mandate," she said. French President Francois Hollande said the government would do "everything to find out the origin of this malicious act."

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