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Greek police report series of firebomb attacks

Greek police report series of firebomb attacks

Suspected anarchists carried out a dozen firebombings Thursday, targeting the homes and offices of a top anti-terrorism prosecutor, a prominent politician and judge, in a dozen attacks that heightened concern over the police's ability to deal with escalating political violence in Greece.
Authorities said one person suffered minor injuries during the firebomb attacks that occurred in Athens, all using makeshift bombs made with camping gas canisters.
The attacks did not cause serious damage, police said, but most were carried out in daylight _ in a brazen departure from the arsonists' usual pattern of nighttime strikes.
There was no claim of responsibility for the attacks, identical in type to ones frequently carried out by local anarchist groups against symbols of state authority, banks and cars. Arrests are rare.
Arson attacks have sharply increased in the wake of massive riots in Greek cities in December, triggered by the police's fatal shooting of a teenager.
Late Thursday, police fired tear gas and clashed with youths in the northern city of Thessaloniki during a rally organized by anarchist groups to demand the release of those arrested in the December riots.
Police officers associations said they favored calls to restructure the force, possibly merging small precincts in the capital with larger ones, in an effort to stem the wave of violence.
"Something has to change ... Many of my colleagues feel they are not making the contribution to society that they signed up for," said Antonis Liakopoulos of the greater Athens police association.
"Police cannot merely record criminal acts but must stop them and enforce preventive measures."
Thursday's attacks were carried out at the home of Dimitris Papangelopoulos, a senior prosecutor in charge of terrorist offenses and organized crime, and the office of former Socialist Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, as well as the offices of a communist daily newspaper.
Also targeted were a prosecutor and lawyer involved in the appeal trial of Greece's deadliest terrorist group, November 17.
The far-left group is blamed for 23 killings and numerous bombings in Athens between 1975 and 2002. The appeal ended in 2007 with judges upholding convictions for 13 group members.
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Associated Press writers Derek Gatopoulos in Athens, and Costas Kantouris in Thessaloniki, contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-10-17 08:15 GMT+08:00