Bogus bomb jolts Thiseion

A suspect device planted near Thiseion station in central Athens, on the tracks of the urban electric railway, triggered a police alert and traffic chaos yesterday but turned out to be innocuous. Officers closed off roads around the station and railway services were halted after three anonymous telephone calls to the media warned that a bomb had been planted 300 meters from the station on the Piraeus-bound tracks. Police found a parcel exuding wires, on which they conducted a controlled explosion at around 5 p.m. But they then saw that the package had contained gas canisters, candles and a clock that had not been connected and concluded that pranksters were to blame. Forensic experts were last night inspecting the package for fingerprints. There was already a heightened police presence along the line ahead of a clash between basketball rivals Olympiakos and Panathinaikos at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Neo Faliron.