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Terror probe widens after rocket attack

Bomb squad officers investigate fragments of rockets fired on January 12 at a Mercedes-Benz car dealership in Athens, on Wednesday.

Police forensic experts were on Wednesday examining a metal shard believed to be a fragment of a rocket-propelled missile recovered from the premises of German car dealer Mercedes-Benz in Varibombi, northern Athens, which a far-leftist guerrilla organization claimed to have targeted last month, against the backdrop of fears of a spike in domestic terrorism.

Investigators discovered a crater on the premises late on Tuesday after Group of Popular Fighters claimed responsibility, in a proclamation published on To Pontiki’s website, for an attack in December on the home of the German ambassador in Athens. The group, which was also behind an armed hit on the offices of conservative New Democracy in January last year, revealed in its proclamation on Tuesday that it had fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the premises of the Mercedes-Benz dealer as part of “a campaign against the German capitalist machine.”

Witnesses of the Varibombi attack on January 12 said they notified the authorities after hearing a blast at around 11 p.m. and subsequently saw police officers scouting the scene for evidence. Police at the time said no evidence had been found in connection to an attack. Following Tuesday’s proclamation, sources said that there are signs Nikos Maziotis, the leader of the defunct guerrilla group Revolutionary Struggle, might be behind the attack. Maziotis has been at large since summer 2012 when he failed to respect the terms of his conditional release after serving the maximum of 18 months in pretrial custody.

The government has heralded the overhaul of Domokos Prison in central Greece into a high-security penitentiary for those convicted of terrorism and other serious offenses. But, Kathimerini understands, the ministerial decision that would start the overhaul has yet to be signed.

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday February 12, 2014 (20:44)  
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