NEWS

Anti-terrorist sqaud finds car laden with arms, explosives in southern Athens

Authorities appeared to have discovered a significant clue on Saturday in their attempt to track down domestic terrorists when a car laden with firearms and explosives was searched in a southern Athens neighborhood.

Anti-terrorist squad officers had the silver Opel found in Palaio Faliro under surveillance for around two weeks following a tip-off. They had been waiting to see whether someone would come to collect the stolen vehicle but decided on Saturday that it would be too risky, given its contents, to leave it there any longer.

Four rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and a launcher were found during the search, which was carried out by specially trained officers and sniffer dogs. Officers also discovered four hand grenades, three AK-47 assault rifles, seven cartridges for the Kalashnikovs, a box of bullets, gloves and hoods.

The car was stolen from Keratea, northeast of Athens, on January 1. The license plates on the vehicle had been switched with those from another, identical car.

The Greek police have been on alert since November 17 terrorist Savvas Xeros disappeared last month while on a prison furlough. Xeros has since issued a video in which he declared he would return to terrorist action. Police suspect that he may have teamed up with Nikos Maziotis and Paula Roupa, members of another urban guerrilla group, Revolutionary Struggle.

Officers did not say on Saturday whether they could link the car in Palaio Faliro to these three or any other terrorist suspects. The vehicle was to be towed to police premises so it could be examined by forensic experts, who will look for fingerprints, DNA or other evidence that could help the police in their search for suspects.

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