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Greek political parties condemn gunfire attack on ruling party headquarters


15:37, January 15, 2013

ATHENS, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Greek political parties strongly condemned on Monday a gunfire attack on the conservative ruling party headquarters in Athens, which ended with no injuries.

Two unknown assailants fired at least nine shots with kalashnikov AK 47 riffles at the building located in a central Athens district in the early hours of Monday, while it was empty.

A bullet has hit the office of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, head of the party, on the second floor, Greek government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said citing preliminary reports by police and counter-terrorism squads.

Within hours police found a burnt out car which is believed could be used for the attack, a few kilometers away.

Kedikoglou strongly condemned the "fresh attack against our democracy in the context of efforts to spread terror in our society ," reiterating calls for a clear denouncement of violence from all political parties.

Since last Friday Greece has witnessed a string of attacks with homemade petrol bombs against a dozen offices of political parties, such as New Democracy, co-ruling socialist PASOK party as well as main opposition Radical Left SYRIZA, and an attack at the home of the spokesman's brother, George Kedikoglou while he was inside with his spouse and a three-year old child.

An anarchist group claimed responsibility for the first string of minor attacks with gas canisters at the homes of five Greek journalists, accusing media that "they represent a corrupted political and financial system which has led to the current debt crisis." No group has claimed responsibility for the latest attacks.

The three-party coalition government of conservatives and center-Left has strongly condemned the attacks, stressing that "democracy cannot be terrorized."

Amid the series of attacks, a dispute has erupted between the government and SYRIZA over the party's position over violence stemming from extreme Left groups. New Democracy criticizes SYRIZA for a "lenient and mild" approach on the matter, an allegation the party categorically denies.

"Democracy is targeted," SYRIZA spokesman Panos Skourletis said, underlining that they condemn all forms of political violence, adding that the attacks shift the focus from the major problems debt-ridden Greece faces at the moment.

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