Greek anti-terror police seize weapons

Greek police raids at least two suspected hideouts for domestic terrorists.

Updated: Mar 14, 2011, 16:00 PM IST

Athens: Greek anti-terrorist police raided at least two suspected hideouts for domestic terrorists on Monday, detaining seven people and seizing weapons and disguises, authorities said.

Officers confiscated two automatic assault rifles, six handguns, a revolver, police uniforms, wigs, computers and radios in the raids in the central city of Volos and in Athens, while more raids were being conducted in other parts of the capital.

Four men and a woman were detained for questioning in the Volos operation, and a man and a woman in Athens, police said.

Far-left militant and armed anarchist groups have been active in Greece for decades. But attacks have spiked in the past two years, despite the arrest of more than a dozen suspects, following the fatal police shooting of a teenager in Athens in December 2008 that led to widespread riots across the country.

The latest spate of attacks was a series of letter bombs, most of them sent to foreign embassies in Athens in November. The booby-trapped packages included one that made it German Chancellor Angela Merkel`s office in Berlin and another addressed to Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi. The latter caught fire aboard a courier flight that had landed at Italy`s Bologna airport.

Another letter bomb was sent to the Justice Ministry in Athens in February. None caused any injuries.

A militant anarchist group, Conspiracy Nuclei of Fire, has claimed responsibility for the letter bombs. Nine suspected members of the group, mostly in their early 20s, went on trial in January over the attacks. Four others are being tried in absentia, and the process is expected to take several months.

Bureau Report