Group claims blast at ND rally

The Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire claimed responsibility on Saturday for an improvised bomb that detonated in a garbage dumpster in central Athens on Friday night, causing damage but no injuries, shortly before an election speech by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. In a proclamation published on the Internet, the group said it had carried out last month’s bloodless bomb blast outside the Kolonaki home of main opposition PASOK deputy Louka Katseli as well as Friday’s blast near Pedion Tou Areos, where Karamanlis subsequently addressed a large rally of supporters. «We made the decision to plant a bomb right in front of their faces and send a message during the prime minister’s last campaign speech,» an excerpt from the proclamation said. «The kids have nothing to do with us… we are proud of our actions and would not hide our faces if we were arrested,» another section of the text notes – a clear reference to the four suspected members of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire arrested following a police raid last week on an apartment in Halandri. The Halandri raid turned up a homemade explosive device comprising a cooking pot and a timer, almost identical to the one used in the attack on Katseli’s home and in the blast near Pedion tou Areos. The Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire said it planned and executed these two attacks in cooperation with another group calling itself Nihilist Faction. Meanwhile, suspicions of links between anarchists based in the central district of Exarchia and resurgent terrorism grew stronger over the weekend as it emerged that three of the six additional suspects of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire being sought by police had been arrested in a raid on an Exarchia apartment in January. According to sources, the three suspects – two men and a woman – were sent for trial. The woman, known to police as Miss Punk, was acquitted while the two men received suspended jail sentences. Police found dozens of helmets, batons and cellphone SIM cards in the raid on the apartment which, sources told Kathimerini, had been visited by all suspects currently linked to the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire.