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Bomb Explodes in Athens Mall – Two Injured

themall_1There was an explosion a little before 11 a.m. at The Mall commercial center in the upscale Athens neighborhood of Marousi, a bombing that came in the wake of a similar attack outside the homes of four journalists and the brother of the government’s spokesman.
Authorities said that two security guards were slightly injured and were taken to the hospital, and that the facility, the first of its kind in the city, suffered extensive damage, the website Newsit reported.
The explosion happened on the first floor where police said they believe the explosives had been placed in a rubbish container near a bank branch. The media had reportedly received two warning calls about an hour before the blast.
Athens_«The Mall»“We have placed a bomb in the mall and it will explode,” a caller claimed, without giving the location of the device in the huge shopping mall. While it’s still early, police haven’t excluded it was the work of a group they believe was behind the firing of a gunshot attack on the offices of the New Democracy Conservative party whose leader, Antonis Samaras is Prime Minister.
He met earlier this month with his coalition partners, PASOK Socialist chief Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis to try to formulate a plan of attack against a rising tide of politically-oriented violence.
Police said they believe new groups are forming in the wake of crushing austerity measures and those who are angry with government policies, such as the eviction of squatters from buildings popular with Leftist groups.
Authorities later said the device was put behind a newspaper stand and reports were that the warning was issued through telephone calls to a newspaper and a website about an hour earlier, suggesting a bomb had been planted at the underground garage. This allowed for the timely evacuation of the mall.
No blaze was caused from the explosion at 10:53 a.m. Police sources said the device was a time-bomb and qualified it as a high-risk blow. Speaking on SKAI TV, Deputy Interior Minister Haralambos Athanasiou said, “Such actions aim at harming the democratic regime and are trying to destabilize it. Democracy is not afraid of terrorism and such actions will not bend anyone’s determination.”
Although stores are closed on Sundays, cafeterias, restaurants and cinemas are open at the country’s biggest shopping center and plenty of people flock in on a Sunday morning and the mall is especially popular with young people.

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