Mail Bombs Intercepted in Israel

A new wave of letter bombs hit Israel last weekend, apparently without causing casualties.

Postal security officers intercepted 10 pieces of potentially lethal mail Sunday night during routine sorting. Each contained a Christmas card and several grams of explosives, which experts said were sufficient to kill.

All the bombs were safely defused, but the authorities have alerted the public to watch out for suspicious-looking mail, in case one or two pieces slipped by.

The envelopes were mailed in Cyprus. Each bore three or four Cypriot stamps and was addressed by hand to individual Jews and to Christian clergy in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa.

There were no return addresses.

Israeli police, trying to trace the source, are in contact with the Cypriot police and with Interpol, the international police agency that exchanges information on criminal activities.

Postal authorities here recalled letter bomb episodes in 1987 and 1974. In both years, they occurred in December, when mail is heavier than usual with seasonal greeting cards.

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