NEWS

In Brief

Political leaders yesterday sent their condolences to Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson and the Swedish people over the death, early yesterday, of the country’s foreign minister, Anna Lindh, who was stabbed in a department store by an unknown assailant on Wednesday. Lindh was «truly a European personality who made a significant contribution to European development,» Prime Minister Costas Simitis said. Foreign Minister George Papandreou, on a visit to Cyprus, praised Lindh’s efforts to promote the island’s EU accession. President Costis Stephanopoulos sent his condolences by telegram to Swedish King Carl XVI Gustav. CRETANS RELEASED Three municipal officials arrested for spying leave Turkish-occupied Cyprus Turkish-Cypriot officials yesterday released three Cretans they had arrested on Wednesday for allegedly photographing military installations near Kyrenia in the Turkish-occupied north. Yiannis Hairetis, Sofoklis Hairetis and Manolis Skandalidis – the deputy mayor of Anogeia, in the Cretan prefecture of Rethymnon, and two municipal councilors – were convicted of illegal entry but the spying charges were dropped. The release of the three men followed protests by the Greek and Cypriot governments. Reports said that the US Embassy was involved in securing the releases, as Hairetis has dual Greek and US citizenship. EVROS DEATHS Search for more bodies is called off Authorities in Thrace yesterday called off the search for more bodies of drowned illegal immigrants in the Evros River, on the border with Turkey, from which 23 corpses were recovered on Tuesday and Wednesday. The dead are believed to have been mostly Pakistanis. Military patrols were continuing to monitor the river. Meanwhile yesterday, border guards near Ardanion in the Evros area arrested 29 illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Iran and Morocco. Air space violations Two Turkish F-16 jets yesterday morning harassed a Navy P3 Orion aircraft on a training flight between the islands of Rhodes and Kastellorizo, Defense Ministry sources said. The Turkish jets had been flying around 150 feet above and to the right of the Greek aircraft, according to the same sources. The same two Turkish F-16s had earlier violated national air space before being chased off by Greek fighter jets, the sources added. Conscript suicide A 20-year-old conscript fatally shot himself with his service rifle while on sentry duty at the military barracks of Orestiada, in the northern prefecture of Evros, yesterday morning, an army announcement said. The victim was identified as H. P., from Athens. September 11 Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Magriotis yesterday expressed the solidarity of the Greek people with all Americans and those who lost their loved ones in the September 11 attacks, on the second anniversary of the terrorist assault. «It is the duty of all of us to strive ceaselessly for our security and our democratic principles and values,» Magriotis said. Railway disruptions Trains will not be operating on the section of the Piraeus-Kifissia urban electric railway (ISAP) between Omonia and Tavros from noon today until Monday, ISAP said yesterday. Commuters will be able to use replacement buses until Monday morning when normal service is due to resume. The disruption is due to works at Thiseion station. Maneuvers Army, navy and air force units are to participate in the Parmenion five-day military exercise to be conducted from next Monday across Thrace and the eastern Aegean, the joint chiefs of staff said yesterday. Correction An agreement between Greece and Russia for closer cooperation in curbing organized crime was tabled in Parliament for ratification on Wednesday. An introductory report, and not the text of the agreement itself as reported in yesterday’s Kathimerini English Edition, said Russia is «a base for criminal rings responsible for smuggling people and illegal products into Western European countries, including Greece,» according to an Athens News Agency report.