Mafia link in train explosives

While confirming a report yesterday that counterterrorism police had found explosives on an empty freight train in northern Greece, authorities ruled out any terrorist link, implicating Bulgarian criminals instead. Police spokesman Lefteris Economou said the explosives, together with two detonators, were found late on Monday on the last of 17 carriages that had entered from Bulgaria, headed for Thessaloniki. He stressed that the detonators «could not have caused an explosion,» adding that a Bulgarian suspect had been detained in Thessaloniki and was to be deported for illegally entering Greece. A report in Ta Nea daily yesterday had said the suspect was a police and secret service informant. «We believe that the device was planted for self-seeking purposes by a group of Bulgarians involved in smuggling,» Economou said. In February and April 1996, two bomb attacks at Thessaloniki station on trains that had entered from Bulgaria were attributed to smugglers. Nobody was hurt in the blasts.

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