Thessaloniki (Greece): An unemployed man shot
and wounded three people and took two others hostage on Thursday at
a plastics factory in northern Greece, police said.
State TV said police special forces were drawing up plans
to storm the factory, but authorities have not confirmed that
The incident occurred in the northern town of Komotini,
800 kilometres, northeast of Athens, at a factory that makes
trash bins and other plastic products. The shooter, identified
only as a 52-year-old Greek man, was fired from the factory
eight months ago.
Police said he burst into the site today with a shotgun,
firing at the owner of the plant and a Bulgarian employee, who
were both hospitalised with gunshot wounds not considered to
be life threatening. A police officer also has been shot and
injured in the hand.
Authorities said the two men taken hostage were company
Police said the industrial area outside Komotini, a town
of some 65,000 inhabitants, had been cordoned off and that
negotiators had reached the site.
Unemployment has risen rapidly since the start of Greece`s
financial crisis, roughly doubling to nearly 21 per cent
following more than two years of austerity measures. The
jobless rate is highest in the northern Macedonia and Thrace
regions, at nearly 24 per cent.
Pantelis Magalios, head of a labour centre in Komotini,
told the AP that the gunman had run out of money.=
"He had been employed at the plant for several years. He
was fired eight months ago and they had promised to re-hire
him," Magalios said.
"His colleagues told me that he had not eaten anything in