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WALES: Hain recalls letter bomb terror.

Byline: By MARK HOOKHAM Parliamentary Correspondent

PETER Hain yesterday told how he was almost "blown to smithereens" by a letter bomb sent to assassinate him.

The Welsh Secretary claimed South African security services attempted to use an explosive device to kill him in the early 1970s.

Mr Hain, a leading anti-apartheid campaigner, opened the huge bomb at his home in south west London, but it failed to detonate.

Explosive experts who later defused the device told him it would have killed him, his parents and his sister and destroyed their home.

Mr Hain said his own terrifying experience made him appreciate the fear of staff caught up in the latest letter bombing campaign.

A serial letter bomber has struck seven times over the last three weeks, injuring nine people.

The latest attack on Wednesday, at the Office of the Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority in Swansea, near Mr Hain's Neath constituency, injured four people.

The Secretary of State said the DVLA attack was "deeply shocking" and described the terror campaign as "extremely worrying".

He added: "I say this from my own experience because I received a letter bomb in June 1972 from the South African security services.

"There was a technical fault in it but the bomb squad who descended on our home told me that it would have blown not just myself, my mum and dad to smithereens but our entire house.

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Peter Hain: 70s letter bomb target
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 9, 2007
Words:240
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