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Greek militants claim U.S. embassy attack, voice support for Iraq insurgents, Hezbollah

Greek militants claim U.S. embassy attack, voice support for Iraq insurgents, Hezbollah

A far-left militant group claimed responsibility for a recent rocket attack against the U.S. Embassy in Athens, and said in a statement published Thursday the strike was in response to U.S. military involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.
The Revolutionary Struggle group said the Jan. 12 attack was "our own response to the criminal war on `terrorism' that the U.S. has launched throughout the planet."
The statement, published in the Pontiki weekly newspaper, also blamed Greece's governing conservatives for backing U.S. policies, and accused Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis of "kowtowing to the U.S."
Police forensic experts were examining the document to verify its authenticity. Militant groups in Greece often send declarations to newspapers as a way of claiming responsibility for attacks.
In the Jan. 12 attack, a rocket-propelled grenade penetrated the outer wall of the embassy building, but caused no injuries and minor damage at the heavily guarded complex.
But it was the most daring attack on a Western target in Greece in years, and raised fears that domestic extremism may be growing in a country plagued by left-wing terrorism for a quarter-century since the mid-1970s.
"We brought disgrace to the tough U.S. and police security measures," Revolutionary Struggle said in its statement. It claimed that the attack "brought joy and satisfaction" to most Greeks.
The group said it "dedicates" the attack to Iraqi insurgents, Hezbollah, "and of course to Greece's political prisoners" _ a reference to jailed members of November 17, the country's deadliest terrorist group that was eradicated in 2002.
The statement said the U.S. embassy would be "the first building to be demolished in the case of a popular uprising in Greece."
"And the second would certainly be Parliament," it said.
Greek media viewed that reference _ and others to Bakoyannis, Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras and judges at the November 17 trial _ as a hint regarding the militants' future targets.
"They now threaten ministers, judges and Parliament," Ta Nea daily said in a front-page headline.
Revolutionary Struggle first appeared three years ago and has claimed responsibility for a failed bomb attack on Greek Culture Minister George Voulgarakis. Nobody was injured in the May 2006 blast.
The group also bombed a U.S. bank, a police station and two government ministries.
In its statement, the group said it was not behind two Jan. 12 phone calls that claimed responsibility, in its name, for the rocket attack.


Updated : 2021-03-04 02:10 GMT+08:00