Athens bomb targets business group, damages Cypriot embassy

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A bombing outside the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises in central Athens, Greece early yesterday morning caused heavy damage to the Cypriot embassy across the street.

Nearby Syntagma Square, from file.
Image: Athenswalk.

The explosion hit Xenofontos Street around 3.30 a.m. local time (0130 UTC). Police had cordoned off the area after two local newspapers received calls warning of the impending blast 30–40 minutes before the blast. Unconfirmed reports state the bomb as being 3kg of explosives left in a backpack outside the office and detonated by a timer.

Police evacuated a hotel near the scene and warned kiosk vendors in the vicinity. Nobody was injured. The site is close to the city's famed Syntagma Square. Witnesses report two individuals leaving the bag and police told Reuters a CCTV camera recorded two dark-clad men speeding off on a motorcycle.

Kyriakos Kenevezos, the Cypriot Ambassador, said to state media conglomerate CNA "Our embassy absorbed the full impact of the blast[...] there is incalculable damage to the interior from the ground floor to the sixth floor."

Domestic anarchist and extreme left militants have been carrying out bombings and starting fires since 2010 saw the introduction of widespread austerity. Attacks have however decreased since left-wingers Syriza took power in January under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. The government condemned the attacks, as did conservative opposition party New Democracy.