In Brief


Halkidiki coffee shop owner killed trying to break up customer row A 20-year-old Armenian national was arrested yesterday in connection with the shooting of a 50-year-old coffee shop owner in the village of Doubia in Halkidiki, police said. The incident occurred in the early hours of the morning when the suspect, who has not been named, is thought to have had an argument with another man at the local cafe. The Armenian, who is a Thessaloniki resident but was spending Christmas in Doubia, is said to have gone to his mother’s nearby home, picked up a single-barreled shotgun and returned to the coffee shop. He allegedly then began arguing with the father of the man with whom he had the earlier row, at which point the cafe owner stepped in to separate them and the 20-year-old shot him, officers said. HARBOR DEATH Woman drowns in Corfu after car plunges on Christmas Eve A 35-year-old woman drowned on Christmas Eve after the car in which she was a passenger plunged into the sea off the port of Corfu in the evening, while the 32-year-old female driver managed to swim to safety, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. It is not known what caused the accident. GAS-CANISTER BOMBS LAOS Pendeli office targeted Two gas-canister bombs exploded and one failed to detonate near the offices of ultra-nationalist party Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) in the northern Athens suburb of Pendeli yesterday without causing any injuires or damage, police said. According to officers, local residents say they saw two youths placing the devices near the organization’s premises in Pendeli Square before making off on a high-powered motorbike. Taverna murder A 27-year-old Albanian national was shot dead by a gunman on Christmas Day while he was eating in a taverna in the Ambelokipi area of Thessaloniki, police said. The gunman, who is also believed to have been an Albanian, made off after the shooting. No possible motive for the murder has been made known. Immigrant arrests A coast guard patrol boat picked up 14 illegal immigrants on Christmas Eve on the south coast of Farmakonissi, an uninhabited islet east off Patmos in the Dodecanese, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The immigrants, 12 men and two women of various nationalities, were taken to the island of Leros where officers say they admitted sailing to Greece from Turkey in a small motorized boat. Meanwhile, coast guards picked up four immigrants, whose nationality has not been made public, near the port of Mytilene on Lesvos. The men had rowed to the island from Turkish shores in a rubber dingy, officers said. Child abuse? A 23-year-old gypsy was arrested on Christmas Day near Xanthi, northeastern Greece, on suspicion of having beaten the two young children of the woman he was living with, police said. The mother of the boy and girl, aged 2 and 3, alleges that her lover, who has not been named, woke up at 9 a.m. on Christmas morning and began repeatedly punching and kicking the children and throwing them against the walls of their house in a gypsy settlement in Drosserou. The woman called on neighbors for help and took the children to the local hospital, where officers arrested the suspect. The children’s injuries were considered so serious they had to be transferred to the university hospital in Alexandroupolis, where they are in stable condition. Albanian prayers Albanian President Alfred Moisiu visited the Greek minority in the southern Albanian town of Gjirokaster on Christmas Day. After attending a service at the town’s Greek Orthodox cathedral, Moisiu addressed the congregation, saying that Christmas called for «all of us to live in justice, with love an understanding, helping each other.» The Albanian president added he was happy to hear the prayers conducted in Albanian and told the town council he wanted all religious services in the country to be carried out in Albanian. Sea policing Representatives from the Greek and Albanian governments met in Tirana yesterday to discuss the renewal and improvement of a protocol of cooperation between the two countries over the policing of their sea borders. Fatal fire An 83-year-old woman was found burnt to death in her house on the island of Lemnos on Christmas Day, the fire brigade said. The fire began in the bedroom where the woman, whose identity was not made public, had been sleeping, officers said. A fire truck and four firefighters arrived at the scene to put out the blaze in the town of Myrina but were too late to save the woman. Crew safe A Greek cargo ship caught fire off Sri Lanka but the 30-member crew extinguished the blaze and all aboard were safe, a rescue and salvage company said Friday. The company, Master Divers, said it sent a rescue vessel to the Loyd Diana after it reported that it was on fire 500 nautical miles (925 kilometers) south of Colombo, while carrying 4,000 containers from Singapore to Europe. «The crew managed to knock off the fire before we could reach (the ship),» company chairman Ariyaseela Wickremanayake said. It was not immediately clear what started the blaze. The crew members, all Greeks, were safe, Wickremanayake said. The vessel is registered in Greece. (AP)