Bomb explodes outside Greek organization federation offices in Athens: police

ATHENS A bomb exploded outside the offices of a Greek company federation in central Athens early on Tuesday, police officials stated, smashing windows but causing no injuries.

Attacks against banks, politicians, journalists and businesspeople are not uncommon in Greece, which has a long history of political violence and has been mired in its worst financial crisis in decades.

Tuesday’s blast, which police believe was carried out by domestic guerrilla groups, is the very first such attack considering that leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras came to energy in January.

The device, triggered by a timer and placed in a backpack near the entrance of the Hellenic Business Federation offices, went off about three:30 a.m. (0830 ET). An anonymous caller warned a newspaper some 30 minutes earlier, a police official mentioned on condition of anonymity.

Witnesses saw glass from smashed windows strewn across the streets in a single of the busiest parts of central Athens, a stone’s throw from parliament in Syntagma Square that is lined with cafes, banks and shops.

Police cordoned off a two-block area surrounding the creating and bomb disposal squads have been examining the scene.

Makeshift bomb and arson attacks have escalated in Greece since 2010, when it very first adopted unpopular austerity measures such as tax rises, wage and pension cuts in exchange for multi-billion euro bailouts by the European Union and the IMF.

In July, Athens agreed to additional rounds of austerity below its third bailout.

(Reporting by Karolina Tagaris and Alkis Konstantinidis Editing by Paul Tait)

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