Self-styled anarchists have stepped up their action in what appears to be an attempt to pressure authorities over an ongoing hunger strike by convicted November 17 terrorist Dimitris Koufodinas, who is protesting the rejection of his latest furlough request.
Shortly before 4 a.m. on Tuesday, a group of around 15 masked assailants lobbed Molotov cocktails and gas canister bombs at a police station in the eastern Athens suburb of Kaisariani.
The incident resulted in a police officer who had been on duty at the time of the attack sustaining minor head injuries as one of the gas canister bombs went off inside his guard box.
Earlier on Tuesday, shortly before 2.30 a.m., unknown arsonists targeted the car of Open TV’s police reporter Mina Karamitrou, which had been parked outside her home in the Athens suburb of Papagou.
The vehicle was destroyed but the blast caused no injuries, according to police who could not immediately draw any parallels between the two incidents but did not rule out a connection.
The union representing Greece’s police guards issued a statement expressing concern that police officers’ lives were being disregarded and suggesting that authorities were taking a soft line on Koufodinas and his supporters, who last week went on a vandalism spree in central Athens to express their solidarity with the hitman.
“The state and justice are being crudely blackmailed,” the statement said, adding that lives were being put at risk.
Top police officials on Tuesday held a meeting at Athens Police Headquarters to determine how to deal with a possible escalation in anarchist violence if Koufodinas continues his hunger strike.
Members of anti-establishment groups gathered in central Athens late Tuesday in another show of solidarity.