Seven held over Greek parcel bombs

Suspects alleged to belong to group accused of targeting embassies in Athens as well as offices of European leaders.

    The police have confiscated automatic assault rifles, handguns, ammunition and police uniforms [Reuters]

    Greek police have arrested seven people suspected of belonging to a guerrilla group blamed for a series of parcel bomb attacks targeting embassies and foreign leaders.

    Anti-terrorist police, which conducted raids on apartments in the central city of Volos and Athens, the Greek capital, on Monday, confiscated automatic assault rifles, handguns, ammunition and police uniforms.

    Police have been conducting ballistic tests to determine whether the weapons found had been used in guerrilla attacks.

    The group has carried out several bomb attacks since 2008, the latest of which caused extensive damage to a courthouse in Athens in December last year.

    It shot to international attention last November for a series of letter bombs to foreign embassies in Greece and to three European leaders.

    One of the packages was received by the office of Angela Merkel - the German Chancellor - while another, addressed to Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, caught fire aboard a courier flight that had landed at Italy's Bologna airport.

    Conspiracy Nuclei of Fire claimed responsibility for the series of attacks.

    Far-left militant groups

    About 30 suspected members of leftist groups have been arrested in the last two years as authorities try to stem a string of attacks that have rocked Greece since riots paralysed Athens in December 2008.

    Nine suspected members of the group, mostly in their early 20s, went on trial in January over the attacks.

    The six arrested on Monday, including two women, face charges of participation in a terrorist organisation, supply and possession of explosives and making bombs, and causing explosions.

    Far-left militant and armed anarchist groups have been active in Greece for decades. But attacks have spiked in the past two years, despite the arrest of more than a dozen suspects.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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