NEWS

Slow progress for police

Police officers taking part in the investigation into Friday’s attack on the US Embassy in Athens told Kathimerini yesterday that they will need several days to sift through the information they have gathered so far. Officers have spoken to some 4,000 people who live or work in the area close to the embassy and yesterday began handing out leaflets asking people who may have seen anything suspicious before or after the attack on Friday morning to call 170 from a landline or 1014 from a cell phone. «The struggle against terrorism demands a serious and responsible stance,» said Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. «In this fight… we are uncompromising and ruthless.» Police sources told Kathimerini that key witness statements so far have not helped them narrow down the search for the suspects as they contradict one another. It seems that three or four people, one of whom is thought to be a woman, were seen leaving the area after the rocket-propelled grenade struck the embassy. But there are substantial discrepancies in the descriptions that witnesses have given. Officers are hoping that CCTV footage from the embassy’s security cameras might be able to provide more clues. This footage is being analyzed by FBI investigators working with the Greek anti-terrorism squad and British security experts. Revolutionary Struggle, the group allegedly behind the attack, has yet to issue a statement about the strike but the hit man for the November 17 terrorist organization, Dimitris Koufodinas, hinted in court yesterday that the new group was continuing N17’s work. «We took part in the age-old struggle of the oppressed… in this long struggle, it does not matter if you fall if there is another hand to continue,» said Koufodinas. «Paths change, times change, but the aim is still the same.» The convicted hit man told the court, which is hearing the appeals of the N17 members, that he accepted all responsibility for the group’s bloody actions and instructed his solicitors he did not want a defense counsel.