Gunshots fired at Greek government party's headquarters

Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:23am EST
 
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ATHENS (Reuters) - Unknown assailants fired shots at the headquarters of Greece's co-ruling conservative New Democracy party in the early hours of Monday, causing minor damage to the building but no injuries, police said.

Officials said it was a symbolic attack against Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who no longer uses his office on Syngrou Avenue near the centre of Athens. The assault followed a barrage of makeshift bomb attacks against journalists and political targets in recent days.

"At about 3 AM (0100 GMT), guards saw two men coming out of a black car and firing with a Kalashnikov at the building, which was empty at the time," said a police official speaking on condition of anonymity.

He said a bullet pierced the window of the prime minister's political office and nine shells were found on the ground outside the building. The assailants fled the scene, followed by two men on a motorcycle who appeared to be accomplices.

Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou condemned the attack, saying even symbolic violence should be denounced.

"A symbolic bullet at the prime minister is unheard of," he said. "This is a new, worrying escalation of the effort to create terror in our society."

(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos and Lila Chotzoglou Writing by Dina Kyriakidou; Editing by Catherine Evans)