World News

Urban guerrilla group suspected in Athens blast

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police suspect an elusive urban guerrilla group is behind a bomb attack that wrecked the ground floor of Greece’s biggest insurance company, authorities said on Monday.

About 3 kg of dynamite exploded outside the offices of National Insurance at about 11 p.m. (2100 GMT) on Sunday, destroying the ground floor of the multi-storey building. It also smashed windows of cars parked nearby. No one was hurt.

A police official told Reuters the attack bore the hallmarks of Revolutionary Struggle urban guerrillas.

“Revolutionary Struggle have used a similar technique in the past and that makes them the most likely perpetrators,” said the official, who declined to be identified.

The blast was heard throughout central Athens. Plastic debris and office equipment were strewn several metres across to nearby Syngrou Avenue, one of Athens’s busiest roads.

Police had sealed off the area after receiving a telephone warning 15 minutes before the explosion.

No group had yet claimed responsibility for the attack, the latest in a series of violent incidents by left-wing and anarchist groups since the shooting of a teenager by police sparked Greece’s worst riot in decades in December 2008.

In September, Revolutionary Struggle placed a bomb outside the Athens Stock Exchange, causing extensive damage but no casualties.

National Insurance is a subsidiary of National Bank, the country’s biggest lender.

Reporting by Harry Papachristou; editing by Andrew Dobbie