NEWS

In Brief

TURKISH BLAST

Karamanlis sends condolences to Erdogan after fatal explosion Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis sent a letter of condolence to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan following the deadly bombing of a mini-bus on Saturday which killed five people and injured 13 others in the seaside resort of Kusadasi. Karamanlis said in the letter that Greece condemns such acts of violence and terror. ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS Police break ring of smugglers, release two Asian hostages Police in Attica appear to have broken up an illegal immigrant-smuggling gang following the arrest of a 30-year-old man who was holding two Asian men hostage until he received a fee for their transport into the country. The other migrants had been set free after paying the 1,500-euro fee, police said on Saturday. The number of immigrants who illegally entered the country with the gang was not known. Police said they were searching for the other gang members. KIDNAPPING OVER Abused girl, 16, breaks free A 45-year-old man was arrested on Saturday for allegedly kidnapping and sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl he had hired to work at his art gallery, police said. The girl, locked in a container in Aspropyrgos, west of Athens, managed to escape by slipping through the window bars due to the weight she had lost during her 10-day ordeal. In an apparent attempt to sidetrack police, the man told officers last Thursday that the girl had been kidnapped by a four-member gang which had demanded a 5,000-euro ransom for her release. Faulty ferry No injury was suffered by any of the 250 passengers aboard a passenger ferry which set sail from Kavala yesterday morning, after the vessel's on-off ramp collapsed into the sea. About an hour-and-a-half after a malfunction was detected in the ramp, ferry workers managed to lift it into place so the passengers could disembark from the ferry, which had been bound for the island of Thasos. Gay marriages Bishop Anthimos of Thessaloniki yesterday criticized «the impudence and shame» of gay partnerships following a call by Synaspismos Left Coalition leader Alekos Alavanos for the legalization of gay marriages. «Gay people warp human nature with unspeakable, unnatural acts,» the bishop told a service in Thessaloniki. Alavanos expressed his regret at Anthimos's reaction later yesterday. Windsurfer death A 50-year-old windsurfer died of his injuries on Saturday after being struck by the propeller of a speedboat off the coast of Sounion, police said. Spyros Sotiriou had called for help after getting caught in high winds, the driver of the speedboat Dimitris Tangalakis told police. A friend of Sotiriou, Tangalakis said he had approached the windsurfer with the engine off but that it had inexplicably switched on.

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