Apparently coordinated letter-bomb attacks continue in Britain

WORLD DIGEST

February 08, 2007|By New York Times News Service

LONDON -- A letter bomb exploded at Britain's drivers' licensing agency yesterday, extending what the police depicted as a coordinated series of attacks that has troubled the nation's leaders and inspired comparisons with the Unabomber in the United States.

The blast at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, which slightly injured four people, was the third in as many days, striking mainly at institutions and companies involved in regulating motorists and automobiles.

The licensing agency, located at Swansea in south Wales, collects automobile taxes as well as issues drivers' licenses. The other targets this week were companies associated with collecting congestion-charge fees for cars entering central London and with supplying cameras used to monitor traffic flows.

Police disclosed yesterday that four other letter bombs had been sent last month to other businesses, two of them providing forensic outsourcing services to the police. A letter bomb was also sent to the director of an outsourcing company providing services to a tax collection office in Folkestone, Kent, south of London.

There have been no fatalities or reports of serious injuries.

Police said one of the letter bombs sent last month bore the name of Barry Horne, an animal rights activist who died in 2001 while serving an 18-year jail term on arson charges. The Association of Chief Police Officers said the first three letter bombs sent last month were apparently linked, presumably related to animal rights protesters.

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