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UPD: Bomb explodes at Athens Mall – 2 security guards slightly injured

A bomb exploded short before 11 a.m. inside the Athens Mall in Maroussi, suburb of northern Athens. According to Greek media, two security guards were slightly injured and taken to nearby hospital. Prior to the explosion two warning calls went to a newspaper and a news portal. Athens Mall is open on Sundays with people visiting coffee shops, restaurants, movie theaters and other entertainment facilities.

Controversial information speak of the bomb to have been placed behind a newspaper stand at the parking of the Mall, while other media speak of the explosion to have occurred at the first floor of the building.

The explosion occurred at 10:50 a.m at the first floor of the Mall.  According to first information the explosive device was placed at the first floor of the building where shops and one bank branch are located. The explosion caused big material damage.

Fifty minutes before the explosion a newspaper and a news portal received two warning phone calls by unknown persons.

At 9:50 a.m. a person called at Eleftherotypia newspaper warned that a bomb would explode in 50 minutes, while the second phone call was made three minutes later to news portal zougla.gr

The person did not mention any organization but said that “a responsibility claim” would follow.
 
Right after the phone calls, strong police forces and the security guards private company started to evacuate the Mall.
 
The explosion occurred during the evacuation, however after the people had exited the Mall and only policemen and security guards were inside. 
 
According to police, the explosive device was not of very powerful.
 
For security reasons police closed down “Neratziotissa” station of urban train ISAP (HSAP), the wagons operate from/to Piraeus up to “Eirini” station. 
 (in.gr)
In recent days, the Greek capital has witnessed a series of attacks with explosive devices against political parties offices and banks ATMs, while an attack with weapons occurred against the headquarters of Greece’s governing party Nea Dimocratia.
 
Minister for Citizen Protection and Public Order, Nikos Dendias, had told Kathimerini newspaper on Friday that they were expected a “bigger attack” to occur.
 
12:09  
-The explosion occurred inside the Mall at the first floor.
-Some 200 people were evacuated.
-Police considers the attack as of “high risk” as civilians were inside the building.
-The bomb was placed under the stairs near a bank branch.
-Police is searching for a possible second device.
Proastiakos train does not operate between “Metamorfosi” and “Doukissis Plakentias”.
-Athens Metro is on 24-hour strike.
(state broadcaster NET TV)
 
12:48
– Explosion occurred at 10:40 a.m. in the first level of the Mall above the parking area.
-The explosive device was most likely placed inside a garbage bin outside a closed shop. Some eye witnesses speak of the explosion to have occurred outside a branch of National Bank.
– The two security guards -currently in hospital – are slightly injured and are expected to be released form hospital later today. They were apparently injured by broken glasses from shops windows. (NET TV)
 
14:14
No organization has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.
 
Government officials underline the fact that the attack occurred in a place where also small children were.
 
Even thought the shops were close don Sunday, many people, especially families with children visit the Athens Mall to enjoy entertainment in several movie theaters, coffee shops and restaurants.
 
22:00
 
Citing police information, Greek media report that the bomb was hidden in a pressure cooker inside a plastic bag  and was left in a rubbish bin outside a cosmetics shop and a branch of National Bank, both closed because of Sunday. 
 
The bomb contained about 1.5 kilos of gelatinous dynamite and a mixture of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil, known as ANFO.
 
It has not been clear yet whether the bomb explosion was caused via a time clock.
 
Based on findings and the art of explosives used, police allegedly believes to see links to “Conspiracy of Cells of Fire”, a terror organization with many members currently in prison.
 
Police investigates also material from security cameras at the Athens Mall, Attiki Odos highway, the adjacent urban train station “Neratziotissa”.
 
“A camera showed two persons, probably male, placing a bag in the rubbish bin about half an hour before the warning call to the newspaper and then leaving the site, police said.”, according to Reuters
 
Prior to the explosion two warning calls went to newspaper Eleftherotypia and website zougla.gr. In one of the phone calls at 9:58 a.m., the unknown person said:
 
“An explosive has been places inside, I repeat, inside the Mall. Train station “Neratsiotissa” and Andreas Papandreou Avenue  should be evacuated. the state should be evacuated. This is not a farce, a statement on responsibility claim will follow.” (zougla.gr)
 
Police investigation has been reportedly concluded at 10:30 p.m. Athens Mall opened its gates ot the public again and Papandreou Avenue was opened to traffic.
 
The two security guards slightly injured by collapsed plaster boards were discharged from the hospital on Sunday afternoon.
 
There are some estimations that the perpetrators did not want any victims and website Zougla citing police sources reports that the warning calls 50 minutes before the attack, gave enough time for evacuation of employees and visitors.
 
In a statement Greek police seeks any information by citizens who may know something about the attack. 
Citizens should call phone numbers <170>, <1014> and <1964> at the Directorate of Special Crimes of Violence.
All political parties condemned the attack.

All major political parties condemned the attack, the first to cause injuries in several years.

“We are dealing with a new type of terrorism that not only picks symbolic targets but wants blood and death,” the co-ruling Socialist PASOK party said in a statement.

The country’s public order ministry urged the political class to work together to end the violence.

“It is not enough to verbally condemn the incident, there must be an absolute isolation of violence and terrorism by the political system. The message is our democracy cannot be terrorized,” it said in a statement.

The government has said in the past Syriza, the radical leftist main opposition party, tacitly backs anti-establishment groups. Syriza, which condemned Sunday’s attack, denies this.

So far no organizatin claimed responsibility for the attack.

 

 

 

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22 comments

  1. What the h*ll, have these people gone absolutely crazy?!

  2. keeptalkinggreece

    yes!

  3. Is the mood changing in Greece?

    So many people have endured hardship after hardship for year after year. There comes a point where some people will not tolerate it any longer. And the longer it drags on the larger the intolerant numbers might get?

    Is this what is happening?

  4. Totally. And let’s be glad that until now no heavy explosives have been used. But I am afraid, that’s just a matter of time…
    And until now I could always tell people not to be afraid, because the ‘troubles’ were only felt in the square mile around Syntagma. Not anymore… 🙁

  5. keeptalkinggreece

    I really can’t tell

  6. Maybe we can blame it on Golden Dawn.

  7. William, first I have to be honest and tell you that I am staying abroad since November, so I would not dare give an answer about the mood right now in Greece. And when KTG says she “really can’t tell” then I go with that immediately.
    I just want to point out that this kind of violence has been a bit of endemic in Greece for a very long time. Remember N17? They really killed a lot of people. So that’s in another class of its own. But these attacks with, often, home made devices have been going off also for as long as I can remember.
    There was a time when people ‘joked’ that you better not rented a house near a bank or a car sale, because they would be prime targets for small bombs or fire bombs. And society as a whole did not really get worked up about these attacks. Probably because violence has always been an important part of Greek society. Verbal violence, but also physical and attacking some-ones property. Violence can flair up and die down in an instance.
    So, if you are asking if this type of thing is new, or if it is getting worse I just think the answer still is “no”. If you are asking if there is a threat of deadly violence of this kind, I would think the answer is “yes”. But if you are asking if there is a threat of real civil strife or something like that, I have to pass. Because I really don’t know. I just know that when I am in Greece I hear people dropping hints at it more then they used to. And I sense that people are taking more and more precautions. Not so much for themselves, but more to protect strangers that live and work among them…

  8. Thank You for an honest answer.

    I guess the only thing to do is wait, watch and see.

  9. We could. After all, in terms of cowardly attitude and pointlessness it is very much on par with what GD would do. Although, GD prefer to stick knives in peoples backs and spout totally irrelevant rhetoric. At least the cowards who did this have spared us the last bit, for now…

  10. we could but we don’t as GD has not shown attidute of explosive devices.

  11. yet… Remember why their leader ended up in jail?

    He was arrested again in July 1978 after he had become a member of a far-right extremist group, and sentenced to one year imprisonment in January 1979 for illegally carrying guns and explosives. He was also dismissed from his position in the army.

    this is the full article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolaos_Michaloliakos

  12. hm…you want to claim and blame about a party elected to the Parliament, even though there is not link/hint/clue leading you to such allegations?

  13. I am not and have not blamed anybody. What I am pointing out is that the mindset of whoever is behind the attack on the mall is identical to the mindset of those who believe it quite ok to stab somebody on the street because of their skin colour or religion etc.
    Violence, whatever it’s nature and wherever it comes from is never justifyable or right. We have had years of it in Ireland, far worse than anything that has ever happened in Greece to date, and from first hand, very personal experience I know it simply doesn’t do anything for anybody. I also know that standing up to it can be a very dangerous thing to do…
    I am also saying that because a certain group of people have not resorted to bombs yet, it doesn’t mean they will not do so in the future. And I am also saying that it is blatantly obvious that being elected to parliament, Greek or other, is no guarantee for it’s members to be law-abiding citizens. If it was a certain Greek ex minister for defence would not now be in jail, or a former Irish Minister wold not have done time for tax evasion, just a few examples.
    But if the leaders aren’t really all that bothered with the law, then why would you expect those following them to be?

  14. I don’t think it was Golden Dawn supporters since the Mall is not owned by Pakistanis or other immigrants. I think they probably get a pass on this one. (LOL)

    Unless, is the Mall owned by immigrants?

  15. Thanks for another great post.

    No, I did not remember N17 but I took a few minutes to read up on them. Yes I agree that groups like N17 may cause havoc but their membership is too limited to really be a “social movement”. Real change takes with a LOT of very unhappy people or a few very powerful people (like the military).

    Even then the scenarios are a little muddled. Take for instance the Martin Luther King assassination riots here in America. I lived through them. Although triggered somewhat of frustration, they quickly turned into an opportunity to burn and loot from stores. Just like the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles.

    When you have a minority of a minority of people who are just “waiting for an excuse” to loot and steal, almost any excuse will do. That is why I will never live in an big city in America again. If for some reason, government assistance to people was disrupted, you can imagine the result.

    One last thing, while the people of Greece has been suffering from “austerity”, Americans are doing the opposite.

    The number of disabled Americans getting $$$ from the government – all time high. The government continues to extend to 99 weeks the money they will pay you for not having a job. Government free food $$$ – all time high. No cuts to Social Security or Medicare benefits. All = TRILLION dollar per year deficits.

    I guess if you are going to sink, its nice to have a bigger boat?

  16. Oh and don’t forget the Obama phones, Free phones and airtime given to the poor by the government.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpAOwJvTOio

    Do they have Obama phones in Greece?

  17. About The Mall, it’s ownership and it’s legality I found a very interesting piece on wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mall_Athens

  18. aha! So, HSBC does own 42% eh?

  19. No, 49.2% 🙂

  20. yes, but does really HSBC own it? Because with that logic, then Alpha Bank owns my house (LOL) get it!!!

    Are they just the lender who lended part of the Money to the Latsis group? That part I was not clear on.