NEWS

Probe into how blast was handled

A day after a terrorist bomb rocked central Athens, sources said that the police have launched an investigation into how law enforcers reacted when they were tipped off that the device would explode, raising concerns about a bungled handling of the situation. About 30 minutes before the bomb went off outside the Economy and Finance Ministry on Monday morning, a caller twice phoned Eleftherotypia newspaper tipping off authorities to the explosion, and giving a different location on each occasion. The probe was launched to determine whether the officer at the police command center’s switchboard acted properly when he was contacted by the newspaper. Procedure requires the on-duty officer to record the details given over the phone on special cards, something which was not done, sources said. As a result, sources said the operation that took place at the scene of the explosion was delayed and poorly coordinated. Eyewitnesses have been telling television crews over the last two days that they saw no police in the area shortly before the bomb went off. Other press reports speculated that the caller was forced to make the second call to the newspaper realizing that the police had not taken him seriously on the first occasion. Meanwhile, investigations are continuing as police attempt to identify the suspects who planted the bomb.