NEWS

In Brief

Store raid

Robbers with assault rifles get into shootout with police Four robbers wielding Kalashnikov assault rifles raided a branch of the Carrefour Marinopoulos supermarket chain in the central Athens district of Kolonos on Saturday night, fleeing with an undetermined sum but causing no injuries. As they fled the scene, the perpetrators were spotted by a police patrol car. In the ensuing chase the robbers shot at the officers who fired back, but there were no reports of any injuries. The robbers eluded arrest. At around the same time, robbers targeted supermarkets in the districts of Halandri and Nea Ionia. Siemens investigation Seven to be summoned Prosecutor Nikos Zagorianos, who is investigating the alleged payment of kickbacks by the Greek branch of electronics giant Siemens to politicians and public officials, is today due to summon the first seven suspects for questioning. The focus is reportedly an agreement between Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) and Siemens for supplying digital centers worth the equivalent of 500 million euros, double the sum in the original agreement. Arson attacks A homemade explosive device detonated early on Saturday outside a building housing a branch of Alpha Bank and a subsidiary of French banking group BNP Paribas in the southern Athens district of Kallithea. The explosion shattered windows and cracked marble, but caused no injuries. Earlier the same night unidentified arsonists used a gas canister bomb to target the offices of ruling New Democracy in the central Athens district of Kypseli. Student recovering A 19-year-old shot in the chest on Friday by a fellow student who then turned the gun on himself was yesterday deemed strong enough to be taken off life support. According to doctors, the youth is recovering steadily following the attack, in which a bullet perforated one of his lungs, and can now breathe normally. Reacting to the shooting, Education Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos said on Saturday that the behavior of Dimitris Patmanidis was an isolated incident «that could have happened in any country» and should not lead to generalizations about Greek youngsters. Exploitation Police in Thessaloniki yesterday detained two Bulgarians, a 54-year-old man and a 48-year-old woman, alleged to have forced three disabled compatriots to beg at traffic lights in the northern city and nearby towns. The suspects are alleged to have lured their three victims from Bulgaria by promising them a better standard of living. They are alleged to have subsequently offered them food and accommodation at an apartment in Thessaloniki in return for their services as beggars. Revenge hit A 73-year-old man was shot dead in the street outside a restaurant in Nikaia, near Piraeus, early yesterday afternoon in what police say was a revenge attack. The victim was shot three times in the head while he had been getting into his car. It was unclear whether anyone witnessed the attack.