ATHENS, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Greek Citizen Protection Minister Michalis Chrisohoidis confirmed on Thursday evening that one police officer died during an unprecedented terrorist attack inside the building of the ministry.
|Police guard the entrance to the Greek Citizen Protection Ministry in Athens after |
a parcel bomb attack on June 24, 2010. Greek Citizen Protection Minister Michalis
Chrisohoidis confirmed on Thursday evening that one police officer died during an
unprecedented terrorist attack inside the building of the ministry. (Xinhua/Marios
A police lieutenant responsible for the safety of Chrisohoidis, who was a close associate of the minister for years, was killed during a strong explosion that rocked the building. He was the one who received the bomb that was placed in a package which was sent to him as a gift.
"Greek society will not be terrorized," said Chrisohoidis in his first comment to Greek media after the attack which is the first of its kind in Greece. Terrorists had never before reached so close to the office of a minister responsible for public order.
The victim's office is next to Chrysohoidis'on the 7th floor of the ministry building.
Greek state television NET also reported one slightly injured from the blast that caused the collapse of walls and shattered windows.
Most local media reported that Chrysohoidis was is his office the moment of the explosion and it is believed that he was the target of the attack.
SKAI television channel reported that Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou was immediately informed.
Counter terrorism experts commented while speaking anonymously to Greek media that there was no warning telephone call before the explosion and they suspect the attack was launched by local guerrilla groups that are responsible for a series of attacks over the past decades against political, police and financial targets.
Some counter terrorism experts said to MEGA that "Conspiracy of the Nuclei of Fire"could be behind the attack. The group has acclaimed responsibility for two attacks with two injuries this spring outside the main prison of Athens and the courthouse of northern city of Thessaloniki.
Other experts suspect that the attack could be organized by members of the group "Revolutionary Struggle" which has claimed responsibility for a major attack against the U.S embassy in Athens four years ago, among other attacks. This year Greek authorities have arrested a group of people accused of being key members of "Revolutionary Struggle".