NEWS

Bomb kills youth, maims sister

A pipe bomb that had been placed on the steps outside a business institute in the Athens district of Kato Patissia killed a 15-year-old Afghan boy, seriously injured his 10-year-old sister and hurt his 45-year-old mother when it detonated late on Sunday. Police said the device bore the hallmarks of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire but the organization posted a statement on the Internet yesterday evening denying any link. The bomb exploded at 10.40 p.m. on Sunday night outside the Hellenic Management Association. The 15-year-old was killed instantly and his sister hospitalized with severe shrapnel wounds to the eyes and burns to the face. Doctors said late last night that they were fighting to save her eyesight but that the outlook was bad. Police are certain that the Afghan family was not the target of the attack and that their involvement had been a tragic twist of fate. Officers believe that the boy picked up the device, which had been placed in a rucksack, out of curiosity, minutes after the perpetrators had planted it. The bombers had probably been planning to phone in a warning call to the police or media after planting the bomb, police said. Police had been on standby since Sunday morning when an anonymous caller told Alter television channel that a bomb was about to explode outside a business association but the acronym given did not correspond to any registered institute and no blast occurred – until Sunday night. Forensic experts examining the remnants of the explosive device believe it was a pipe bomb containing ammonia dynamite. According to police, the device that detonated on Sunday is virtually identical to the bomb used in an attack on the Chilean Consulate in Thessaloniki in July and claimed by the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire. In a message uploaded onto the Internet yesterday, the group expressed «utter sorrow» at the death of the Afghan youth and said that attempts to link the organization to the explosion were «totally baseless.»