In Brief


Owner and captain of vessel embroiled in aid row are freed The owner and captain of a Greek cargo ship that became embroiled in a row with activists who wanted to transport humanitarian aid to Gaza last week were released yesterday after testifying before an Athens prosecutor on charges that they abducted the campaigners. According to sources, the prosecutor disagreed with the investigating magistrate appointed to probe the affair. The activists claim they had struck a deal and were brought to Piraeus against their will. The owner and captain of the Strofades IV insist that the foreign activists, mostly Britons, tried to seize control of the vessel while it was docked at the Libyan port of Derna with the aim of forcing the captain to go to Gaza. The shipowner is suing the activists. House fire Woman, 38, dead; son critical A 38-year-old woman died late on Sunday after suffering third-degree burns in a fire that broke out on Saturday in her home in a social housing complex at the Aghios Haralambis settlement near the main port of Zakynthos. Meanwhile, the woman’s 19-year-old son, who also suffered serious burns in the fire, is undergoing intensive-care treatment in a hospital on the island. According to police, the fire broke out on Saturday afternoon when a plastic container filled with petrol was ignited under circumstances that remained unclear. It is thought that the youth tried to move the container after it caught fire but that he and his mother became trapped in the narrow entrance hall of their home. Firefighters arrived quickly but both residents had already sustained serious burns. Nioplias out Soccer champion Panathinaikos has parted company with coach Nikos Nioplias «by mutual consent» and has temporarily replaced him with veteran Polish manager Jacek Gmoch. In yesterday’s Super League games Iraklis beat Aris 1-0, Kavala downed Asteras 1-0 at Tripoli, while Panserraikos and Olympiakos Volou shared a 2-2 draw. Arson attack A homemade explosive device placed in front of a private journalism school in the central Athens district of Kolonaki by unidentified arsonists caused serious damage to the five-floor building housing the enterprise when it detonated early yesterday but no injuries were reported. The force of the blast blew out all the windows on the first three floors, according to police, who said the device had comprised 27 gas canisters and cans of petrol. Fatal knifing Police on Lesvos yesterday made public the photograph of a 26-year-old Albanian man believed to be behind the fatal stabbing of a 21-year-old compatriot on Sunday in the island’s southern resort of Plomari. According to police, the suspect knifed the victim in the chest in Plomari’s main square at around 8.30 p.m. on Sunday following an argument. Store raid Two gunmen netted about 18,000 euros after holding up a supermarket in Thessaloniki early yesterday morning. The robbers burst into the store at around 6 a.m. when only the manager and one other employee were present. According to the employees’ testimonies, the robbers forced them at gunpoint to open the safe before locking them in the store and fleeing with the loot.