Greece pledges new counter-terrorism policy after Athens attack

11:24, October 29, 2009      

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Greece's newly elected socialist government said Wednesday it will soon present a new counter-terrorism policy, after Tuesday's bloody attack against a police station in a northern Athens suburb left six policemen injured.

"It was an attack against Greek society. Greece will not surrender to fear. Democracy will not be terrorized. The Government does not negotiate with terrorists. They will be arrested and prosecuted," Minister of Citizens Protection Mihalis Chrisohoidis told reporters following his visit to the hospital which admitted the injured policemen and a civilian in shock.

Prime Minister George Papandreou also visited the injured on Wednesday morning.

According to the latest official reports, at least five terrorists who escaped were involved in the shooting outside the Agia Paraskevi police station.

The gunmen, who were riding three motorbikes, used two AK-47 rifles. Counter-terrorism experts estimate that around 100 shots were fired.

The motorcycles, which were stolen in previous weeks, were found early Wednesday outside a metro station nearby.

No group has claimed responsibility yet, but initial investigation points to two far-left guerrilla groups that had made similar attacks in the past years.

Anarchist guerrilla groups have stepped up attacks on police and political and financial targets since last December, when Greece witnessed the worst riots in three decades after the fatal police shooting of a teenager.

Tuesday's attack, according to analysts, is seen as a first message of defiance by terrorists to the new government, raising fears of more shootings in the near future.

Dora Bakogianni, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs whose first husband Pavlos Bakogiannis was shot dead by terrorists in September 1989, said: "This terrorist act must find us all united in a common reply. Greek society will not tolerate these actions. We will support every effort to put an end to terrorism in our country."

Source: Xinhua
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