Shots fired at police near Athens HQ linked to arrest of armed suspect

Police are linking a shooting incident near the force’s headquarters and the Appeals Court in Ambelokipi, central Athens, on Wednesday morning with the arrest of an armed man earlier in the week, Kathimerini understands.

At 8.40 a.m. members of the DIAS motorcycle-riding squad spotted a black Volvo moving suspiciously in the streets near the police headquarters, which are located on Alexandras Avenue. The three men in the car became aware of the policemen following them, pulled over, got out of the vehicle and then started firing at the officers with Kalashnikov assault rifles. Officers fired back but the suspects got back into their vehicle and drove off. The car was found abandoned a couple of blocks away.

None of the officers was hurt in the exchange of fire but one of the motorcycles was damaged. Eight bullets were recovered from the scene. The Volvo has also been taken to the police’s forensic laboratory.

A pharmacy’s CCTV camera recorded the incident but sources said the poor quality of the footage meant that it was unlikely officers would obtain significant clues about the identity of the three gunmen.

Police are connecting the incident to the arrest of an Albanian national following a car chase on Tuesday. Officers found two AK-47 rifles and a handgun in his car. Authorities did not give any more information about the suspect and it was not clear if they believe the three gunmen officers came across yesterday may have been preparing to help him escape.

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