NEWS

In Brief

MINEFIELD DEATH

Iranian killed on Turkish border trying to enter Greece illegally An Iranian illegal immigrant was fatally injured yesterday when he stepped on a land mine in the area of Gemisti on the Evros border in Thrace while another Iranian accompanying him escaped with minor injuries, the army said. The migrants, who had been guided to the spot by Turkish smugglers, had cut through wire fencing guarding the land mine, an army announcement said, adding that the mine had been marked by fluorescent warning signs in Greek and English. Also yesterday, coast guards on Lesvos detained 38 illegal immigrants on the island. OLYMPIC VENUES Armed forces to provide 1,000 personnel to swell police guards The country’s armed forces will contribute 1,000 personnel to help police guard Olympic venues, Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis confirmed yesterday. The guards, will be posted to the main Olympic Stadium complex, the Olympic Village and other venues in Attica, the joint chiefs of staff said earlier yesterday. Guards have already been allocated to some venues, Voulgarakis said. The duration of the operation was not revealed. AIR-SPACE VIOLATIONS Turkish jets are chased off Seven formations of Turkish fighter jets yesterday entered the Athens Flight Information Region four times and violated Greek national air space eight times in the area of Samothrace, Lemnos, Lesvos, and east of Rhodes, military sources said. The 14 Turkish jets were chased off by as many Greek aircraft and there were five simulated dogfights, the officials said. Turkish jets last violated Greek air space on Friday. Bomb threat A London-bound Olympic Airlines passenger jet was yesterday evening forced to make an emergency landing on Corfu following an anonymous call to a Greek newspaper warning that there was a bomb aboard the aircraft. The 205 passengers and seven crew were safely evacuated at 9.30 p.m., just over two hours after takeoff, and the aircraft was searched but no suspect device was found. It was the third bomb hoax involving an OA plane in just over a week. Turkish Cypriots Two elected representatives from the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus will be permitted to join meetings of the Council of Europe’s Strasbourg-based parliamentary assembly, the assembly’s president, Peter Scheider, said yesterday. Scheider said the move, which does not grant the two members voting rights, did not amount to a recognition of the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus. La Verne suit An Athens court yesterday ordered the seizure of up to 600,000 euros in assets belonging to the University of La Verne college after a student tabled a suit following the sudden closure of the US university’s Athens branch earlier this month. Salonica blasts Gas-canister bombs destroyed two municipal vehicles parked outside the town hall in Thessaloniki in the early hours of yesterday morning but no one was injured, police said. There was no claim of responsibility for the blasts. A series of similar attacks earlier this year and in 2003 has been attributed to anarchist groups. Prankster caught A 31-year-old Maroussi resident, who telephoned police on Saturday night warning them that a bomb had been planted at a specific location in the northern Athens suburb, has been arrested, police said yesterday. Police, who had checked the cited location but found no suspect device, eventually managed to trace the call. Farmers protest Thessaloniki farmers, protesting about the low price of rice, yesterday caused traffic problems after blocking the Athens-Thessaloniki National Road at the critical Malgara junction for an hour. Farmers said they would block the road again today. Traffic disruptions Works on a section of the Athens-Lamia National Road on the capital’s outskirts will cause traffic disruptions to both Lamia- and Athens-bound traffic for the next three months after road-surfacing works got under way yesterday.