Sunday, 20 January 2013

Bomb explodes at Athens Mall – 2 security guards slightly injured

Bomb explodes at Athens Mall – 2 security guards slightly injured
Posted by in Politics
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
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 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.
-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)
- 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)
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.

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