Ger­man en­voy tar­geted

Gun­men fire AK-47s at am­bas­sador’s Athens res­i­dence in blood­less predawn hit

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The home of Ger­many’s am­bas­sador to Greece was tar­geted early yes­ter­day by gun­men who rid­dled the build­ing in Ha­lan­dri, north­east­ern Athens, with dozens of rounds from two Kalash­nikov as­sault ri­fles.

Po­lice sources told Kathimerini that they sus­pected Nikos Mazi­o­tis, the con­victed leader of the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Strug­gle left­ist guer­rilla group, could be be­hind the at­tack. The 42-yearold is be­lieved to be linked to an or­ga­ni­za­tion called Group of Pop­u­lar Rebels which has claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for a blood­less Kalash­nikov at­tack on New Democ­racy’s Athens head­quar­ters in Jan­uary. Po­lice be­lieve the same group may claim yes­ter­day’s at­tack.

In yes­ter­day’s as­sault, shots were fired at around 3.30 a.m. af­ter four as­sailants ap­proached the house of Am­bas­sador Wolf­gang Dold on foot, ac­cord­ing to a po­lice of­fi­cer who wit­nessed the in­ci­dent from in­side his guard post. The 25-year-old of­fi­cer said he saw one as­sailant fir­ing an AK-47 at the build­ing while the oth­ers stood be­hind him. Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, who gath­ered 60 bul­let cas­ings from the scene, two Kalash­nikovs were used in the at­tack. Nei­ther of those guns had been used in pre­vi­ous at­tacks, ac­cord­ing to the po­lice, who did not con­firm re­ports that two of the bul­lets had pierced the bed­room wall of one of Dold’s daugh­ters.

The four as­sailants fled on mo­tor­cy­cles, ac­cord­ing to the po­lice guard. Po­lice de­tained six peo­ple for ques­tion­ing but re­leased them af­ter find­ing no ev­i­dence to link them to the at­tack.

The in­ci­dent shocked Greek and Ger­man of­fi­cials. Sa­ma­ras tele­phoned Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel and, in a tele­vised ad­dress later, con­demned the “cowardly at­tack” had meant to harm the coun­try’s im­age. “As Greece pro­gresses, its en­e­mies try to thwart its ad­vance, to hurt its in­ter­na­tional im­age, to harm the Greek pres­i­dency of Europe,” he said.

Ear­lier Ger­man For­eign Min­is­ter Frank-Wal­ter Stein­meier de­scribed the at­tack on Dold’s res­i­dence as “very se­ri­ous.” “Noth­ing, noth­ing at all can jus­tify an at­tack against a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of our coun­try,” he said, adding that the as­sailants would not suc­ceed in harm­ing GreekGer­man ties.

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