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Spectacular robbery shuts down Swedish city

Masked gunmen robbed a post office in Gothenburg early on Tuesday, leaving behind burning cars and suspected bombs that caused chaos in Sweden's second largest city.

world Updated: Jan 22, 2008 21:21 IST

Masked gunmen robbed a post office in Gothenburg early on Tuesday, leaving behind burning cars and suspected bombs that caused chaos in Sweden's second largest city.

The robbers struck the busy Krusthusgatan post office in the middle of the night but it was not immediately clear what they escaped with.

"An unknown number of masked, armed men threatened employees and carried out a robbery," Gothenburg police said in a statement.

The robbers fled about 15 minutes later, setting several cars in the city centre on fire and leaving behind a number of "suspicious objects", feared to be bombs, police said.

One suspected bomb was left in front of police headquarters and a number of police officers were reportedly stuck inside.

Some 120 people were evacuated from a nearby building, and large parts of central Gothenburg remained blocked off today morning, police said.

Per Ljungberg, a spokesman for the Swedish postal service, said the Gothenburg post terminal was the largest in the region and handled about two million letters a day.

"We're a bit surprised by the robbery. There are obviously some valuable packages that pass through, but it's a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack," he told AFP.

He said none of the dozen or so employees present at the time of the heist had been injured, "but many are in shock.