Unknown group claims deadly hit

An unknown group claimed responsibility over the weekend for a fatal bomb attack last month that killed the 52-year-old assistant of Citizens Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis. In a letter published over the weekend in Eleftherotypia, the mystery group said that the device, which detonated on June 24 on the seventh floor of the ministry, killing Giorgos Vassilakis, had been intended for the minister. The four-page document described the explosive device in detail and said the group had targeted Chrysochoidis for taking «repressive» action against «those resisting the offensive against the people,» an apparent reference to the austerity measures being passed by the debt-ridden government. The first paragraph of the document reads, «When the government violates the rights of the people, armed insurgency – either by the whole of society or a section of it – is its most sacred and crucial duty.» The letter said the group behind the ministry hit had been «newly formed» and would reveal its name after a subsequent attack. The sender of the document is identified as Thanassis Klaras, the real name of Aris Velouchiotis. Velouchiotis was the founder of the People’s Liberation Army (ELAS), the military branch of the National Liberation Front (EAM), which was the major resistance organization in Nazi-occupied Greece from 1942 to 1945. Separately, police on Saturday arrested a 32-year-old suspect in connection with an unexploded bomb found on the site of the old Xenia Hotel near Mount Parnitha, north of Athens. The suspect, who in 2007 was charged with the attempted murder of an Athens nightclub owner, is not believed to have any links to terrorist groups.

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