NEWS

Soccer fans hurl petrol bombs at train

In the worst incident of what has become customary behavior by soccer hooligans, 10 people were slightly injured and a commuter train was seriously damaged on Saturday evening when fans of Olympiakos soccer team used gasoline bombs, sticks and stones to attack a train carrying AEK fans to Piraeus. Several passengers who had no relation to either team were among those treated for slight injuries. No arrests were made, even though the fighting raged for some time and spilled out into nearby streets where some 20 cars were damaged. Shaken by the violence, and by the fact that the takings were stolen from a ticket booth, staff of the ISAP urban railway line held a strike from 5 p.m. yesterday to the end of the shift in protest that trains and stations have no security. Witnesses said that about 50 Olympiakos fans had waited in ambush at the Faliron train station for the train carrying about 250 AEK fans on their way to Piraeus to board a ferry for Crete, where their team played against OFI in Iraklion last night. The train’s driver was warned that youths wearing motorcycle helmets and carrying molotov cocktails were at the station and he tried to speed through without stopping. The youths hurled the gasoline bombs and stones at the train, starting a fire in a carriage. Some panicked passengers pulled the emergency brakes and the train shuddered to a halt, half in and half out the station. The assailants then leaped aboard and started beating up the AEK fans, who slowly managed to chase them out of the train and out of the station. Yesterday someone threw a molotov cocktail at the parked Mercedes of AEK defender Akis Zikos outside his house but missed the target. In Ankara, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said Turkey sincerely wants a revival of reconciliation talks. But he repeated Turkish warnings to Cyprus about its plan to join the European Union with or without a settlement. EU member countries should be aware that Cyprus’s membership, before a solution on the island, could create problems… for the region’s security, Yilmaz said.