Top policeman offers resignation over officers’ deaths

One of the police?s highest ranking officers has tendered his resignation from the force in the wake of the fatal shooting of two members of the motorcycle-riding DIAS squad by suspected robbers earlier this week.

According to Skai TV, Lieutenant Yiannis Rachovitsas said that he did not want to be considering in the upcoming reshuffle of police chiefs. However, sources indicated that Citizens? Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis is not willing to accept the officer?s resignation.

Rachovitsas said that he wanted to step down for ?reasons of sensitivity? after the deaths of Giorgos Skyloyiannis, 22, and Yiannis Evangelinelis, 23.

The two men were buried on Thursday and the spot were they were gunned down in Rendi, southwestern Athens, has been turned into an impromptu shrine where dozens of people have left flowers, candles and Greek flags.

Their deaths have prompted other members of the DIAS squad to complain that the department is underfunded and that many officers have to buy their equipment, including bulletproof vests and guns themselves. There have also been claims that their motorcycles are not properly maintained.

Police sources said on Thursday that authorities may now the identity of at least some of the four gunmen that shot the officers. It is thought they are ethnic Greeks from Russia.

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