Mystery group bombs churches

In a switch from their usual targets, Thessaloniki arsonists early yesterday let off gas-canister bombs outside three local churches, causing minor damage. Over the past 12 months, at least 60 primitive gas-canister bombs have exploded in the northern port city, mostly targeting banks, cash machines, public sector buildings and, earlier this month, vans belonging to private security firms. Police suspect anarchists or leftist students. Yesterday’s bombs – at the churches of the Transfiguration and Profitis Ilias in central Thessaloniki and Aghios Panteleimon in Kalamaria – went off within five minutes of each other. Due to the distance between the churches, police believe at least two groups of arsonists were involved. No one claimed responsibility. «There is no connection between the targets and no explication for their selection,» a police source told Kathimerini. He added that each time somebody claims responsibility for a blast, it is in the name of a different group and for a different reason.

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