Explosion at the U.S. embassy in Athens

Friday, January 12, 2007 File:Gropius Athens.JPG

The United States embassy in Athens.
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

There has been an explosion at the US embassy in Athens, Greece, at 05:58 EEST (UTC+3).

Police say the explosion was caused by a rocket propelled grenade fired from across the street at a United States eagle emblem at the front of the embassy. Minor damage and no injuries have been reported.

The explosion apparently occurred inside the embassy compound. Initial eyewitness reports have not given any mention of injuries. Chaos is reported within the compound and Greek police have cordoned off Vassilis Sofias Avenue in central Athens, causing traffic jams. The U.S. ambassador in Greece, Charles Ries told the reporters that the attack was "a senseless act of violence". Both the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Public Order of Greece, Dora Bakoyannis and Byron Polidoras, strongly condemned the action.

Greek security officials say a group calling itself "Revolutionary Struggle" is claiming responsibility for the attack, but the officials have not yet accepted the claim as authentic, according to a report by the International Herald Tribune. Toronto Daily News calls the group "the most active of a new generation of small extreme leftist groups with strong anti-U.S. sentiments." The group has reportedly also claimed responsibility for bombings of a court building in Athens (2003) and the Economics Ministry (December 2005).