Large blast in Larissa block targets prosecutor

Police in Larissa, central Greece, on Saturday detained a 39-year-old man in connection with a large explosion in an apartment block in the city center that is believed to have been targeting a prosecutor who had handled an investigation into a well-known local criminal.

The blast caused no injuries but wreaked severe damage, blowing the windows out of around 50 buildings in an 80-meter radius and destroying around 100 vehicles.

The prosecutor had been away from her home when the blast occurred at around 4 a.m., according to sources who said a police guard has since been assigned to protect her.

The prosecutor reportedly handled the case of Panayiotis Vlastos, the convicted leader of a massive crime syndicate who is currently serving multiple sentences.

Police sources were examining the remnants of the explosive device, which reportedly comprised five kilograms of dynamite.

The 39-year-old suspect was arrested after being seen in the area before the blast. He broke his cellphone before police apprehended him, according to witnesses.

Saturday’s blast came a day after the union of judges and prosecutors appealed for tighter security for courts and judicial officials following an incident on Wednesday when a bomb was sent to the Athens Court of First Instance.

The bomb, which comprised a battery, cables, a detonator and a small quantity of explosives, was destroyed in a controlled explosion. But the development fueled fears of courts and judges being targeted by anti-establishment groups.