Ikea says beefing up security across Europe after blasts

17th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Swedish furniture giant Ikea said Friday it had raised its security level across Europe to make its customers feel safer after booby-trapped products at several of its stores have caused small explosions in recent weeks.

"Since security is of the utmost importance to us and we want to ensure that our customers feel safe coming to Ikea, we have decided to raise the security level ... at all of our stores in Europe," company spokeswoman Ylva Magnusson told AFP.

"We are doing that by among other things raising the number of guards," she said, refusing to divulge what other additional security measures were being taken.

The move comes after a string of small explosions at Ikea stores.

On June 10, a blast in the kitchen equipment department of an Ikea store in Dresden, Germany, reportedly left two customers needing hospital treatment, while booby-trapped alarm clocks also blew up at Ikea stores in Belgium, France and The Netherlands on May 30, but caused no damage or injuries.

No one has so far claimed responsibility for the explosions.

Magnusson stressed Friday that the company had not received "any threats or any other indication that there is an increased danger," but had decided to raise security "simply as a safety precaution aimed at making people feel safer."

She said the company was closely monitoring police probes into the blasts, but would not comment on whether any advances had been made.

According to some media reports this week, German police are toying with the theory the blasts might be targeted at Ikea's 85-year-old founder Ingvar Kamprad over his well-known Nazi sympathies in his youth.

Ikea had Thursday asked German police if there was any basis to the reports, "and we were told there wasn't," Magnusson said.

Kamprad himself told the Swedish daily Expressen he did not think there were any concrete suspicions yet and that he was not part of the probe.

"The police have not at all asked me about what I know and don't know," he said.

© 2011 AFP

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