Athens: Two motorcycle police officers were
killed and two injured after being shot while chasing suspects
in a stolen car, authorities said.
Police spokesman Thanassis Kokalakis said the incident
occurred in the western Rendi district of Athens yesterday
when gunmen opened fire with a handgun and an automatic rifle.
The officers, aged 22 and 23, died in a hospital after
suffering gunshot wounds, he said.
Police said the gunmen stopped their stolen car while
being chased by police on a busy Athens highway and opened
fire at the pursuing officers, who shot back.
The car had been spotted after being reported involved
in an armed robbery of a convenience store earlier yesterday.
Public Order Minister Christos Papoutsis said it was
too early to determine whether the shooting could be linked to
domestic terrorist groups.
"Whether the gunmen are from the ranks of organized
crime or terrorism, they have chosen to continue this cycle of
killing," Papoutsis told state-run NET television.
Papoutsis cut short a visit to neighboring Turkey
after the incident.
Attacks by far-left militants and armed anarchist
groups have increased in the past two years, despite a
crackdown on terror groups and the arrest of more than a dozen