Greece hit by twin bomb blasts
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Last Updated: Saturday, May 15, 2010, 00:30
Athens: Bomb blasts at a prison and a court rocked two Greek cities in 24 hours in a warning that militants still pose a threat to the country as it battles a devastating economic crisis.

The blasts came as Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan began a landmark trip to Athens today promising a "new era" in ties between the long-term rivals, but police ruled out any link between the visit and the attacks.

Police today blamed far-left militants for the first bomb, which exploded overnight outside an Athens high security prison. The blast, heard across the capital, injured one woman.

The second bomb went off in a bathroom in the main court building in Thessaloniki today and slightly injured a court employee, who is in hospital, said Manolis Lampsidis, head of the city's local bar association.

Television images showed dozens of people rushing out of the building, which houses several tribunals and was working normally when the blast detonated.

The blast blew a hole in the floor above, state television NET reported.

The court complex has a police guard of around 30 officers but visitors are rarely searched on arrival and no scanners are in place, a local judicial source said, adding that around 1,000 people were inside at the time.

The attacks came as the Greek government confronted widespread opposition to an austerity programme needed to secure an European Union and the IMF bailout totalling 110 billion euros.


First Published: Saturday, May 15, 2010, 00:30

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