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Explosive packages sent to offices across London

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LONDON: British counter-terrorism officers are investigating three "small improvised explosive devices" believed capable of starting small fires that were found in separate locations in London on Tuesday.

The suspicious packages containing padded envelopes were found at an office block next to Heathrow Airport, the post room at Waterloo station, and at offices near London City Airport in the east of the capital, according to Scotland Yard.

"The packages - all A4-sized white postal bags containing yellow Jiffy bags - have been assessed by specialist officers to be small improvised explosive devices," London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

Irish police later said they were "assisting the Metropolitan police with their inquiries", as Sky News reported the packages had Irish stamps on them.

The item sent to the Compass Centre, close to Heathrow's north runway, was opened by staff resulting in "part of the package burning",though there were no injuries and flights were not affected, said police.

"These devices, at this early stage of the investigation, appear capable of igniting an initially small fire when opened," they added, noting they were treating the incidents as "a linked series".

Officers were called to the Compass Centre at 9.55am, and two hours later, the alarm was raised at Waterloo Station in central London.

"The package was not opened. Specialist officers attended and made the device safe," the police said. The station was not evacuated and train services were not impacted.

At 12.10 pm, another suspicious package was reported at the offices of City Aviation House, at the Royal Docks close to London City Airport.

The package was also not opened and flights continued to operate as normal. - AFP