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Explosion At IMF Paris Offices After Suspected Letter Bomb Opened

Bank's director condemned the 'cowardly act of violence'.

16/03/2017 10:34 PM AEDT | Updated 16/03/2017 11:44 PM AEDT
BFM TV
A graphic from French TV station BFM TV showing the IMF office location in Paris, France

A letter bomb has exploded at the Paris offices of the International Monetary Fund.

Police confirmed one person was injured in the blast caused by a suspected firecracker earlier this morning. 

Officers have also confirmed a shooting at a high school in the southern French town of Grasse. A nationwide alert has since been announced by the Government.

The victim in the Paris incident was an executive assistant, who suffered injuries to her hands and face. She opened an envelope addressed to the head of the IMF’s European office at around 11:30am this morning.

#Translation: “#IMF An intervention is underway for a person injured by a suspicious package with, initially, a firecracker inside.”

Several media outlets have reported that up to other 150 staff in the building were evacuated swiftly after as a safety measure.

Christine Lagarde, director of the IMF, condemned the “cowardly act of violence”.

She said in a statement: “I have been informed about the explosion in the IMF’s Paris office, which caused injuries to one of our staff. I have been in touch with the office, and my compassion goes to the colleagues there.

Bloomberg via Getty Images

“I condemn this cowardly act of violence and reaffirm the IMF’s resolve to continue our work in line with our mandate. 

“We are working closely with the French authorities to investigate this incident and ensure the safety of our staff.”

Paris police prefect Michel Cadot said the explosive was “not a bomb, but something artisanal”.

He added the victim was “wounded in the face by shrapnel” and suffered a “blast in the eardrum”. “These are minor injuries,” he added.

Officers stood down their operation around an hour after the explosion, confirming that the injured victim had been taken to hospital. 

An investigation by the judicial police would now take over, they confirmed on Twitter

The IMF offices are located on 66 Avenue d’Iéna, in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. There is not thought to have been any damage to the building.

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