NEWS

In Brief

Athens blasts

Arsonists target a bank and a coffee shop, causing damage Unidentified assailants firebombed a bank in the Athens neighborhood of Kato Petralona early yesterday, causing minor damage but no injuries. The blast, cause by a device consisting of gas canisters, damaged the bank’s facade and a scooter parked nearby. Earlier yesterday, arsonists targeted a branch of the US coffee shop chain Starbucks in the coastal suburb of Palaio Faliron. Again there was damage but no one was hurt. Shooting probe Police widen suspects search Police officers intend to question about 25 people who they believe have had contact with members of the Revolutionary Struggle terrorist group suspected of being responsible for Monday’s shooting of a police officer. Police sources said yesterday that the suspects they want to question are not necessarily actively involved in the organization. The co-owner of a cafe in Exarchia who was arrested after a gun was found on the premises was bailed yesterday ahead of her trial on Janaury 14. Jewel heist Police on Rhodes were yesterday seeking the robbers that netted jewelry worth 300,000 euros in a raid on a local jeweler. The intruders entered the store premises on Wednesday night by breaking into an adjacent insurance office and digging a hole through the shared wall. The jewelry store was not protected by an alarm system or closed-circuit television. Cyprus talks Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat yesterday suggested that the United Nations should be more actively involved in fresh peace talks on the divided island. «I believe we should accept help from the international community, and specifically the United Nations,» Talat said, adding that the organization could arbitrate on issues the sides could not agree on. But Talat was generally upbeat. «We have some problematic issues… generally though there is some concurrence and this allows us some hope,» he said. There was no response from Nicosia to Talat’s comments by late yesterday. Tram interruption There will be no tram service between noon and 4 p.m. on Monday as workers stage a work stoppage to attend their annual general meeting. Snack bar fire A fire that broke out in a snack bar in Livadia, north of Athens, yesterday caused serious damage but no injuries as no one was on the premises at the time. The bar had been closed for the past few months, police said. It took firemen backed by four fire engines several hours to extinguish the blaze. Prison riot Two Cypriot brothers who are inmates at Nicosia’s main prison clashed with a 60-year-old Arab inmate in the same jail yesterday, fueling a protest. The Cypriots used their beds and mattresses to barricade the entrance to their ward, which holds some 100 inmates including many serving life terms. The commotion provoked the intervention of police and Cypriot Justice Minister Loukas Loukas who rushed to the scene. It was unclear whether the crisis had been resolved by late yesterday.