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Saturday, 4 May, 2002, 07:51 GMT 08:51 UK
America hit by mailbox bombs
Investigators at the scene of one of the explosions
Blasts are being treated as domestic terrorist incidents
At least six pipe bombs have exploded in letter boxes in the United States, in rural areas of Iowa and Illinois.

More 'attention getters' are on the way

Note attached to bombs
The devices were left with messages criticising the federal government.

FBI spokesman James Bogner said the blasts were being treated as domestic terrorist incidents.

Several people were hurt, but they are not thought to have been seriously injured. Some of the wounded are postal workers.

Bomb note

Officials say the pipe bombs were not mailed, but were placed in the letter boxes and primed to go off when the letter boxes were opened.

Theodore Kaczynski known as the Unabomber
The Unabomber waged his campaign for 17 years

The bombs were reported to have been accompanied by a typewritten note that read: "Mailboxes are exploding! Why, you ask?

"If the government controls what you want to do they control what you can do. I'm obtaining your attention in the only way I can... More 'attention getters' are on the way.

"If I could, I would change only one person, unfortunately the resources are not accessible. It seems killing a single famous person would get the same media attention as killing numerous un-famous humans."

The FBI says at least eight devices were planted - not all detonated - but that there may be more.

Some postal deliveries in the area have been suspended.

Attacks from within

In recent years the United States has been prone to bomb attacks carried out by its own citizens.

In 1998, Theodore Kaczynski, known as the Unabomber, was sentenced to four terms of life in prison without parole for a 17-year bombing spree which left three people dead and many injured.

Last June, Gulf War veteran Timothy McVeigh was executed for the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma that killed 168 people and injured hundreds of others.

Following the 11 September attacks on the United States, the country was hit by a series of anthrax attacks.

The FBI has said it believes those attacks were probably the work of a US national.

The BBC's Steve Kingston
"Attached to each bomb was a typewritten letter threatening the government"
See also:

07 Jun 01 | Americas
The enemy within
14 Jun 00 | Education
Rise in bomb threats after Columbine
11 Jun 01 | Americas
Defiant McVeigh dies in silence
04 May 98 | Unabomber
Unabomber gets life
22 Dec 99 | Education
Headteacher faces bomb hoax charges
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