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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-01-12

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Projectile hits US embassy in Athens, causing minor damage, no injuries

  • [01] Projectile hits US embassy in Athens, causing minor damage, no injuries

    A strong blast was reported shortly before 6 a.m. (4 a.m. GMT) at the US embassy in central Athens, with Greek authorities now investigating inside the compound, according to the US ambassador.

    "This attack came from the outside. There is no justification for such an act of violence," US envoy Charles Ries told reporters outside the embassy nearly two hours after the attack.

    Earlier, the US State Department confirmed that no injuries resulted from the incident.

    Initial reports noted that the embassy's facade was hit by some type of projectile from outside, possibly a rocket. What appeared to be a hole was visible very near the embassy's emblem, on the front side of the compound building along Vassilissis Sofias Boulevard.

    Ries added that he has not as yet visited the exact site where the projectile hit, which he called a "crime scene", in answer to a question on what, if any, findings were discovered, i.e. remnants of a rocket or RPG. He also declined to call the episode an "act of terror" for the moment, noting instead that it was a "very serious" incident.

    Greek police cordoned-off the premises around the embassy, which takes up an entire city block, and is one of the most heavily guarded and CCTV-monitored sites in the Greek capital.

    Traffic was interrupted around the embassy. The incident was recorded at 5:55 a.m. local time. US officials have promised to open the embassy "as soon as possible".

    In other statements, Ries said he spoke with Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis immediately after the incident, with the latter expressing the Greek government‚s assurance of cooperation to find the perpetrators of the attack. Additionally, Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras arrived at the embassy shortly before Ries‚ statements.

    The embassy became a target in February 1996 when an urban terrorist cell launched a 3.5-inch anti-tank rocket that hit the outer wall of a parking lot behind the embassy.


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