Police sweep on sitins in Exarchia

Five detained in crackdown on two state-owned buildings

Police said Friday that five people had been detained following a sweep in the central Athens neighborhood of Exarchia while dozens of officers remained in the area, stopping passersby for spot checks.

Three prosecutors reportedly attended the sweep on two buildings, including the Vox cinema, both belonging to the Social Security Foundation (IKA). One of the two had been under occupation by self-styled anti-establishment protesters for months.

Police said that the force's counter-terrorism unit had been briefed about the detentions without determining what charges the five would face.

Late on Thursday, a homemade explosive device comprising several gas canisters detonated outside a parking lot belonging to OTE Telecom in Exarchia, wrecking four parked cars. There was no indication that the incident was linked to Friday's arrests.