NEWS

In Brief

HOODED ATTACKERS

Police seek group of 20 who beat Pakistani in Kypseli Police in Kypseli, near central Athens, were yesterday seeking the perpetrators behind an attack on a Pakistani man, who was badly beaten by a group of hooded assailants in a local square in the early hours of the morning. According to witnesses, the man eventually broke away from his assailants, who hurled two firebombs at him but missed their target. Police had no leads regarding the identity of the perpetrators by late yesterday but suspect they may be members of a far-right group. FYROM jab FM strikes back at Droutsas Antonio Milososki, foreign minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), yesterday accused Athens of «playing the blame game» in an ongoing bilateral dispute about the Balkan country’s official name and appealed to member states of NATO and the European Union, which FYROM wishes to join, to support his country’s position. In an interview with the Voice of America radio station, Milososki said these countries should «help Greece to overcome this irrational row which has been going for nearly 20 years.» Milososki’s comments came a week after his Greek counterpart Dimitris Droutsas remarked that Skopje should focus «on solving the problem at hand, rather than trying to score political points.» Danes stabbed Two Danish men visiting Athens for yesterday’s Champions League match between Panathinaikos and FC Copenhagen were stabbed in a bar in the central district of Psyrri following a brawl but were not seriously injured, according to the doctors that treated them. Police said there was no indication the attackers were supporters of the Greek team and were seeking to determine the exact circumstances of the incident yesterday. The Associated Press quoted Leif Bjoern, who is with the Copenhagen team in Athens, as saying that one of men had been stabbed in the back and the other in the hand. Cigarette smugglers Police in northern Greece said yesterday that they had detained 20 suspected members of a cigarette-smuggling ring, including four police officers. The ring is believed to have run a factory in the area of Kassandra, Halkidiki, and to have smuggled the illicit goods produced there to Germany. The implicated policemen are alleged to have covered for the central ring members. Drug haul Two Albanian nationals were being questioned by police in the Cretan port of Hania yesterday as suspected members of a local drug-dealing ring. Acting on a tip-off, officers arrested the two men on Tuesday evening in the act of supplying drugs to two other men, also Albanian. A search of the homes of the two key suspects turned up quantities of heroin, cocaine, cannabis and a 22-millimeter pistol. Child molester An appeals court yesterday trimmed the jail sentence of a 65-year-old man serving a term of 12 years and eight months for the sexual molestation in 2004 of three girls, then aged between 10 and 12. The court accepted the defendant’s appeal for his clean record prior to the incidents to be recognized and reduced his term to 10 years and six months.