NEWS

In Brief

ARSON ATTACK

Bomb destroys top judge’s car but causes no injuries A gas canister bomb placed under the car of the newly appointed president of the Council of State by unidentified arsonists destroyed the vehicle but caused no injuries when it detonated early yesterday afternoon in the parking lot of the country’s highest administrative court, in central Athens. Panayiotis Pikramenos, who only recently assumed the court’s top post, said the attack would not achieve its goal. «Such actions simply serve to galvanize the unwavering will of all court functionaries to defend the ideals of freedom and justice,» he said. There had been no claim of responsibility for the attack by late yesterday. AEGEAN TENSION Imia islets at center of dispute The Greek coast guard yesterday rebuffed claims by Turkish defense officials according to which «two Greek coast guard vessels violated Turkish national waters» earlier in the day. According to Greek officials, two Greek coast guard vessels were dispatched after a Turkish swimmer tried to approach the rocky islets of Imia carrying two Turkish flags. Greece and Turkey nearly went to war over the islets in 1996. Trafficking ring Police in Athens yesterday were questioning a 23-year-old foreign national believed to be a key member of a ring smuggling migrants into the country and subsequently blackmailing their relatives. Officers arrested the suspect, and eight immigrants, following a raid on an apartment in the western district of Aegaleo. Separately, the body of a young immigrant, found in a stolen truck abandoned in a parking lot in Peristeri, also western Athens, is believed to have been abandoned by human smugglers. The man, who is of Asian origin, died of natural causes, police said, without elaborating. ATM targeted Three would-be robbers threatened a security guard at gunpoint shortly before 1 a.m. on Wednesday night outside a department store in the Thessaloniki district of Thermi before making a beeline for two bank ATMs in the store. The three men fled empty-handed after being spotted by two of the guard’s colleagues. Farmers protest Peach producers blocked the Egnatia Highway for an hour yesterday afternoon, disrupting traffic so they coulf protest the authorities’ failure to compensate them for their surplus produce. Getaway bus Two men who attempted to rob a supermarket in Thessaloniki yesterday were arrested after trying to escape on a local bus. After realizing that the men were using public transport to flee from the scene of their botched robbery, officers stopped the vehicle and forced the pair to give themselves up. The would-be robbers were carrying fake guns. They attempted to rob the Masoutis supermarket in the Rotonda area of Thessaloniki at about 5.40 p.m. but gave up when the cashiers told them that the tills were closed. Drive-by shooting The 35-year-old manager of a cafe-bar on the seafront in Kalamaria, near Thessaloniki, was shot dead yesterday. Police said a car pulled up outside the establishment at 1.50 p.m. and a man shot the 35-year-old twice with a hunting rifle.