A French official says one of two mail bombs sent from Yemen last week to addresses in the United States was defused just 17 minutes before it was set to explode.  

Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux, speaking Thursday on French television, provided no further details, nor did he say where he got the information about the timing.

But investigators who pulled Chicago-bound packages off cargo planes in Britain and the United Arab Emirates on Friday found bombs that were wired to cell phones, with the communication cards removed.   

Separately Thursday, police in the Greek capital conducted a controlled explosion of a parcel bomb addressed to the French embassy.  No injuries were reported.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.