NEWS

Bomb targets MEP home

A time bomb that detonated outside the Athens home of a prominent conservative opposition member of the European Parliament early yesterday, causing minor damage and no injuries, was believed to be the work of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire, police said yesterday, while questioning the authenticity of a claim of responsibility for Tuesday's armed attack on police by an unknown group. The attack outside the home of former Education Minister Marietta Giannakou in Kato Patissia was carried out using a bomb comprising a cooking pot containing gunpowder, a similar composition to the devices used in attacks earlier this year claimed by the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire, police said. The device detonated just after 4.30 a.m., around 20 minutes after warning calls were made by telephone to the Eleftherotypia newspaper and private television channel Alter. According to forensic experts, the bomb blast was not as powerful as had been intended because the lid of the cooking pot had not been sealed properly. Speaking after the blast yesterday, Giannakou's bitterness was clear. «I feel sorry for people who feel such undiscriminating hatred. These are nihilists, unscrupulous people who will stop at nothing,» she said. Giannakou, who in February 2008 had her right leg amputated below the knee because of an infection, lives on the fourth floor of the Kato Patissia building, while her mother and daughter live on the first and third floors, respectively. The blast outside the politician's home came just a few hours after Citizens' Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis called on six suspected members of the group, whose fingerprints have been found in one of the group's hideouts, to turn themselves in to police. In a related development, counterterrorism officers were examining a written statement, left in a mailbox outside a house in the northern suburb of Maroussi, in which an unknown group calling itself Squads of Proletarian Popular Self-Defense claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attack on a police station which injured six officers. According to sources, police are not convinced of the authenticity of the claim.

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