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Two hurt as letter bomb explodes in office of Swiss nuclear agency


Police cars are seen next to the building housing the Swiss nuclear power industry association, on March 31, 2011 in Olten.


Fabrice Coffrini

Two people were injured when a letter bomb exploded at an office belonging to a nuclear energy body in Switzerland — an attack that comes as the country debates its atomic future.

Both victims suffered superficial injuries when the device detonated in Swissnuclear office in the northern town of Olten, AFP reports.

"At about 8.15 a.m., while opening the letter, it exploded," a police spokesman for the canton of Solothurn told AFP.

No-one has claimed responsibility for the attack, the agency said.

Swissnuclear is a lobby group representing a number of power companies in the country, the BBC said. The company is a consortium of national power companies Axpo, Alpiq and BKW, AP said.

Six people had been working in the sixth-floor office apparently targeted by the blast, the BBC said, adding that the building also houses a branch of UBS bank.

Thursday's explosion occurred as about 30 Greenpeace protesters staged a protest outside the headquarters of Alpiq, less than a mile away, AFP said.

The group immediately halted its demonstration and denied any link to the letter bomb.

"We distance ourselves with the greatest firmness from this explosion. Greenpeace has nothing to do with this attack," Greenpeace spokesperson Florian Kasser told AFP.

Switzerland earlier this month suspended approvals for three nuclear power stations pending a safety review in the wake of the atomic crisis at Japan's disaster-hit Fukushima power station.

About 10 percent of Switzerland's energy is derived from nuclear sources, Reuters said.

-- Barry Neild