Minister warned of attacks

Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis had informed the heads of police and the Public Order Ministry about an increase in threats against him six days before Tuesday’s bomb attack, sources said yesterday as authorities suspect the involvement of far-left group Revolutionary Struggle. Voulgarakis was targeted in a powerful explosion that went off less than 200 meters from his home on Tuesday morning, slightly injuring a police officer and damaging four cars. The minister had been about to drive past the area when the bomb went off. Sources said Voulgarakis had sent a letter to the head of police, Anastassios Dimoschakis, and Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras telling them about threats he had been receiving. Voulgarakis, who previously served as public order minister, has been forced to change his schedule twice recently after he received word of suspected attacks against him. Tuesday’s incident has raised concerns about how active terrorists remain in Greece despite the capture and conviction of the leaders of the November 17 terrorist group before the 2004 Olympic Games. Sources said that evidence from investigations so far indicate that Revolutionary Struggle, the most active extremist group in Greece, was behind the attack. The same group had claimed responsibility for a bomb that exploded outside the Economy and Finance Ministry in central Athens in December, injuring three people. No one has yet claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s incident. People suspected of being involved in that attack were being monitored when the bomb exploded. This could mean that police are investigating the wrong people and could soon face a new group of suspects, the source added. It was the second attack on Voulgarakis in three years. While he was an opposition deputy in 2003, he was targeted by suspected anarchists in a firebomb attack that destroyed three cars.

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