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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 February 2007, 04:15 GMT
Vigilance urged over letter bombs
Police at scene of DVLA letter bomb explosion
Disgruntled motorists or animal activists are suggested culprits
Police are urging office workers to be alert to suspicious packages, after seven letter bombs were posted in England and Wales in three weeks.

The DVLA in Swansea was the latest place to receive a device on Wednesday.

Police say the packages do not point clearly to one group or cause, although speculation has focused on angry motorists or animal rights activists.

Police believe an attack could happen again, and are advising anyone handling items of mail to take extra care.

Angry motorist?

Police believe three of the letter bombs - one sent to a firm in Birmingham and two to firms in Oxfordshire, all on 18 January - are linked.

On the back of one of the envelopes was the name of Barry Horne, an animal rights extremist who died in 2001 while in jail for a firebombing campaign.

MAIL-BOMB LOCATIONS
Map
1 Forensic Science Service, Chelmsley Wood - 18 Jan 2007
2 Orchid Cellmark, Abingdon, Oxon - 18 Jan 2007
3 LGC Forensics, Culham, nr Abingdon - 18 Jan 2007
4 Private house, Folkestone, Kent - 3 Feb 2007
5 Capita, London - 5 Feb 2007
6 Vantis, Wokingham, Berks - 6 Feb 2007
7 DVLA, Swansea - 7 Feb 2007

But letter bombs have also since been sent to motoring-related firms in London and Berkshire, and to a private address in Kent.

Officers are compiling a list of all the business activities and organisations associated with the companies targeted, to see if there is any link.

They are also examining the parcels and devices - two of which were intercepted and are intact. Handwriting and postmarks are also being analysed.

The police's national co-ordinator for domestic extremism said both animal rights activism and the possibility of a grudge-holding motorist were being examined as "priority lines of inquiry".

Assistant Chief Constable Anton Setchell added that the letter bombs did not contain conventional explosives, but were made up of pyrotechnic material designed to shock or cause only minor injury.

There was glass in my stomach and I had cuts on my fingers
Mike Wingfield, Folkestone victim

One of the four workers hurt in Wednesday morning's incident had cuts to her hands and body.

The woman said in a statement that she was "shaken, shocked and frightened".

On Tuesday a package exploded at the Berkshire offices of Vantis, an accountancy firm linked to a company which provides digital speed cameras to the police.

That followed a letter bomb attack the day before at the central London offices of Capita, which is responsible for the congestion charging system.

And on Saturday a letter bomb injured 53-year-old Mike Wingfield at his home in Folkestone, Kent.

It was addressed to the "senior manager" of a now defunct security company he ran some years ago from his home address.

He said he had "no idea whatsoever" why he was targeted.

Home Secretary John Reid described the incidents as "worrying" and Prime Minister Tony Blair told the Commons that the attacks were being investigated "very closely".


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The latest letter bomb exploded in Swansea





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