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Investigation launched into explosions in Berne

Police have launched an investigation following two attacks in the capital, Berne, against the defence ministry and the government's new intellegence coordinator. A left-wing extremist group has claimed responsibility for the explosions.

Police have launched an investigation following two attacks in the capital, Berne, against the defence ministry and the government's new intelligence coordinator. A left-wing extremist group has claimed responsibility for the explosions. Police say no-one was injured in the explosions and damage was minor.

A militant left-wing extremist group, called the "Revolutionary Perspective", sent a letter to the police admitting to Tuesday's explosions in Berne. The letter said an exhibition on the Swiss army due to open in Basel this week was the reason for the attacks.

The two explosive devices went off within 15 minutes of each other at about one o'clock in the morning local time. One was planted at the house of the government's new intelligence coordinator, Jacques Pitteloud, and the other outside a building housing offices of the defence ministry in the city of Berne.

A spokesman for the defence ministry said "using explosives is not an argument for or against the army". The ministry roundly condemned the attacks, saying the army exhibition would go ahead as planned.

The militant group was allegedly also behind similar attacks in Zurich against Belgium's honorary consulate and an office of British Airways in 1998. An attack against the conference centre hosting this year's World Economic Forum in Davos was also blamed on the same group.

swissinfo with agencies

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