Gunmen rob bus to Istanbul

A bus carrying businessmen and other passengers from Thessaloniki to Istanbul was held up yesterday for more than two hours by armed gunmen who stole some 30,000 euros in cash as well as a number of valuable personal items. Police said that there were 29 passengers and two drivers on board the private bus, which left Thessaloniki yesterday morning and was due to stop in Xanthi and Komotini before crossing the border with Turkey. Passengers said one of the robbers was on board from the start and another got on at Xanthi. A little later, both men put on balaclavas and pulled out guns. They forced the driver to take the bus to a remote spot on the country road between Diomideia and Feloni, where another three gunmen were waiting. The five suspects forced the passengers and drivers to hand over all their cash, jewelry and anything else of value. They only left when they spotted a police patrol car that was passing by chance.