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Greek police find bomb planted outside labor ministry

Forensic experts search for evidence on a street, next to the Labour ministry building in Athens, Greece, December 12, 2016. Antonis Nikolopoulos/Eurokinissi via REUTERS

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police found and later detonated an explosive device that had been left outside the labor ministry in central Athens on Monday, police sources said, after a newspaper was tipped off that a bomb had been planted.

Police found the device in a rucksack propped up against the shutters of the ministry, on a central thoroughfare in Athens. It was one of three suspect packages that police examined on the scene and then destroyed in controlled blasts.

Earlier, a telephone call to a Greek newspaper had warned that a blast outside the ministry was imminent.

There was no claim of responsibility for the incident.

Such attacks are not uncommon in Greece, which has a long history of political violence. Small-scale attacks have escalated since 2010, when the government first adopted unpopular austerity measures in exchange for multi-billion-euro bailouts from the European Union and the IMF.

Reporting By Michele Kambas, editing by Larry King