Anarchist bombs explode near Greek journalists' homes

ATHENS Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:55pm EST

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ATHENS (Reuters) - Makeshift bombs exploded outside the homes of five Greek journalists on Friday, attacks claimed by an anarchist group which said it was protesting at media coverage of the economic crisis.

The incendiary devices caused minor damage but no injuries. They were the first coordinated attacks against mainstream journalists since the Greek debt crisis erupted in 2009.

In an Internet statement, the anarchist group which goes by the name 'Lovers of Lawlessness' said of the journalists: "While they use a pro-workers rhetoric, they wink mischievously at their political bosses."

Police said the group has used such devices - gas canisters and explosives packed together - in the past.

Among those targeted by the bombs were the editor of the semi-official Athens News Agency and two presenters from the private television channel Mega.

Homemade bomb attacks have been on the rise as Greece struggles through its sixth year of recession, which has fuelled anger against foreign lenders, the wealthy elite and mainstream media - viewed by Greeks as close to the political classes.

The Greek government condemned the attacks, which followed scattered protests against a police raid earlier this week to clear a squat popular with radical leftists and anti-establishment groups.

"This is an attempt to openly terrorize the media, a vital part of our democracy," said Simos Kedikoglou, the coalition government's spokesman. He noted the attacks came a day after protesters barged into a radio station in solidarity with those arrested at the squat.

(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos and Lila Chotzoglou; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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