Athens: Shots fired at German ambassador’s residence; nobody injured

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More than 60 shots were fired from automatic weapons at the gate of the German ambassador’s residence in Chalandri suburb of north Athens. The gunfire took place at 3.30 a.m. on Monday, nobody was injured. Ambassador Wolfgand Dold was inside the residence.

According to Greek anti-terrorism police, the guard at the ambassador’s residence saw four people open fire using Kalashnikov rifles. The perpetrators fired at the gate and the walls and fled before police arrived at the spot. Some 60 bullet casings were reportedly found, while around 20 bullets were found stuck in the steel gate.

athens german ambassador attack

Greek media report that the guard told police that he didn’t fired back because there were houses opposite the ambassador’s residence and there was risk of citizens to be injured. They did not target him, the guard reportedly said.

It is not clear whether the perpetrators left with motorcycles.

There was an immediate mobilization of police that blocked the area. One person was detained while five others were detained a little later. It is not clear whether they had any connection with the assault.

Police is investigating two vehicles found in the area and footage from security cameras. The residence guard seems to be the sole eye witness. Ballistic examination is to show whether the rifles had been used in other attacks.

Police sources said that the guard at the residence of Ambassador Wolfgang Dold saw four people open fire at the gate using AK-47 assault rifles. Bullets were found embedded in the steel gate.

Greek media report that the police is possible linking the attack with the attack at the headquarters of Nea Dimocratia on January 2013, where the perpetrators used also Kalashnikov rifles. An organization called ” Folk-Fighters’ Group” had claimed responsibility for the attack targeting the office of prime minister Antonis Samaras.

So far, no group claimed responsibility at the residence of German ambassador Wolfgang Dold.

The prime minister, the deputy prime and the minister for Public order spoke with the German ambassador, while the deputy foreign minister visited the residence.

Greek foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning the attack:

“Greek government expresses its abhorrence and utter condemnation of today’s cowardly act of terrorism, the sole and obvious target of which was Greece’s image abroad just a few days before the start of the Hellenic Presidency of the Council of the EU.”

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras had a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and assured her that the perpetrators will be brought to justice.

German Embassy in Athens issued a statement thanking the Greek government and the police and saying that the perpetrators “will not achieve neither the disruption of the close and friendly relations between the two countries, nor will they reverse the emerging recovery of the country or create a climate of insecurity,”

German daily Bild commented on the attack:

“Many Greeks see the federal government as key actor behind the tough austerity measures imposed to Greece since 2010 by the international lenders, the Troika.”

sources: protothema, ekathimerini, zougla.gr, ethnos, spiegel, and others