NEWS

In Brief

Israeli response

Embassy speaks out after disputed website comment The Israeli Embassy in Athens yesterday issued a statement in response to Greek press reports criticizing references on the Israeli Defense Forces' website mistakenly claiming that a military excercise off the Dodecanese island of Kastellorizo was being held in Turkish, rather than Greek, territory. The embassy said that there had been «no bad intentions» behind the original reference, which was corrected. The embassy stressed that Israel has no role in the dispute between Greece and Turkey and «regards both countries as significant partners and allies... in the region.» Refinery death Petroleum worker dies after fall An employee of Hellenic Petroleum industrial site in Aspropyrgos, northwest of Athens, died yesterday after falling from a flight of steps between two platforms. Panayiotis Liggos, whose age was not made public, was transferred to hospital immediately after his fall but was declared dead on arrival. A statement issued by Hellenic Petroleum said that the employee in question had been carrying out a simple procedure and had been observing all the recommended safety standards. Illegal adoption Police in the northern city of Xanthi yesterday were questioning a young couple alleged to have paid 14,000 euros to buy a 5-month-old baby from another couple whom police also detained. Officers, who were tipped off about the alleged illicit exchange by an anonymous telephone caller, also detained a lawyer who is believed to have played a mediating role in the transaction. All suspects deny any wrongdoing. ISAP disruption The operation of the Piraeus-Kifissia section of the urban electric railway (ISAP) between Omonia and Kallithea will be suspended from today until Sunday as work gets under way on that stretch. Commuters can instead use the X7 bus route. Armed raids Two armed men held up a branch of Millennium Bank in Thessaloniki yesterday, fleeing on a motorcycle with an undetermined sum after the early morning raid. The robbery, in the city's Neapoli district, came just a few hours after an armed holdup of a gas station in nearby Prochoma late on Wednesday night. Four armed robbers made off with some 8,000 euros after the raid. Neither of the robberies resulted in any injuries. Laser arrest Police in Halkidiki, northern Greece, yesterday detained a 37-year-old local man alleged to have used a laser pen to distract a police officer who had been driving a patrol car through the district of Nea Iraklia. The suspect is said to have sat in his parked car, shining the laser pen into the eyes of the officer. Over the past few weeks, three teenagers have been arrested for shining laser pens at the cockpits of commercial airliners coming in to land at Greek airports. Crime crackdown Police carried out a crackdown in central Athens yesterday, arresting a total of 42 people, 13 on drug-related charges, 27 on prostitution or pimping charges and two for weapons possession. Meanwhile a search of cells at Alikarnassos jail on Crete turned up dozens of knives as well as quantities of drugs, prison staff said yesterday.

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