NEWS

Terrorist link in Dafni shootout

A 35-year-old man who was killed during a shootout with police in the southeastern Athens neighborhood of Dafni early yesterday is thought to have been involved in Greece’s domestic terrorist scene, source said. Lambros Fountas was shot dead when he and an accomplice were seen by two police officers in a patrol car at 4.40 a.m. as they attempted to steal a parked vehicle. Fountas had been known to police since he was arrested during disturbances at the National Technical University of Athens in 1995. He allegedly had contact with members of the Exarchia-based anarchist movement and had been on the anti-terrorist squad’s watch list for a long time. The suspect with whom Fountas was allegedly attempting to steal the car managed to evade arrest but based on forensic tests carried out on evidence found at the scene, police believe that the second man had taken part in a recent attack carried out by Revolutionary Struggle. The urban guerrilla group has carried out a number of attacks in recent years, including firing a rocket-propelled grenade at the US Embassy, murdering a witness protection officer and detonating a car bomb outside the Athens Exchange. Sources suggested that the two men had been stealing the car so that it could be used in an imminent strike. According to the police, the two suspects had already broken into the Seat Ibiza when a patrol car pulled up a short distance away. One of the officers turned on the siren, prompting Fountas and his accomplice to jump out of the vehicle and begin shooting at the policemen. The officers took cover behind their patrol car and in the ensuing exchange of fire, the 35-year-old was killed. A Zastava handgun, with two bullets missing from the chamber, and an assault grenade were found in his possession. He was also carrying a walkie-talkie and wearing two pairs of leather gloves. Police also searched Fountas’s home but did not reveal if they had found any clues.