Ikea says store blasts were blackmail attempt

21st September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Swedish furniture giant Ikea said Wednesday a series of blasts at a number of stores across Europe were linked to a blackmail attempt.

"The blasts ... developed into a blackmail situation," Ikea spokeswoman Ylva Magnusson told AFP.

"As a result we have heightened security at our stores," she said.

Booby-trapped alarm clocks blew up at Ikea stores in Belgium, France and the Netherlands on May 30, while a blast in the kitchen equipment department of a store in Dresden, Germany, reportedly left two customers needing hospital treatment on June 10.

On September 2, police evacuated two stores defusing a booby-trapped device found near one of them.

"We are cooperating closely with police in those countries," Magnusson said, refusing to provide further details about the nature of the blackmail, disclosing only that the attempt had occurred "just recently".

© 2011 AFP

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