* Rigged alarm clocks explode in French, Belgian stores
* Explosion in bin outside Dutch store store
* No serious injuries
BRUSSELS, May 31 French, Belgian and Dutch
police have launched investigations after minor explosions
struck IKEA [IKEA.UL] stores in each country late on Monday in
what appears to have been a coordinated attack.
No one was seriously hurt in the blasts at the world's
biggest furniture retailer, although two workers in Belgium
suffered minor injuries.
Rigged alarm clocks blew up in IKEA stores in Ghent in
Belgium and Lille in France, and there was an explosion in a bin
outside the IKEA store in Eindhoven in the Netherlands.
The alarm clocks were linked to small amounts of gunpowder,
and prosecutors said they did not think that the bombers had
intended to cause significant injury.
"Federal police with dogs did a sweep of other stores but
there was nothing suspect that was found," An Schoonjans, a
Ghent prosecutor, told Reuters.
The affected IKEA stores in Belgium, France and the
Netherlands all opened as usual on Tuesday.
A spokeswoman for IKEA, known the world over for low-price,
self-assembly flat-packed furniture, said there had been no
warning before the attacks.
IKEA risk manager Edwin Gaasenbeek told Dutch news agency
ANP there was no reason for extra security measures at the
company, owned by a foundation controlled by Swedish founder
"Of course, it has happened before. But we do not consider
it as blackmail or extortion," Gaasenbeek was quoted as saying.
Two Polish men were jailed in 2004 for planting bombs at two
Dutch Ikea stores in 2002 and trying to extort 250,000 euros
($360,000) from the Swedish furniture chain.
In 2009, there was a threat to blow up several Amsterdam
stores, including an IKEA outlet, and seven people were arrested
but it turned out to be a hoax and the people were released.
(Reporting by Ben Deighton in Brussels and Gilbert Kreijger in
Amsterdam; Editing by Jonathan Lynn)