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article imageParcel bomb kills aide of Greek minister for civil protection

By R. C. Camphausen     Jun 25, 2010 in Crime
Athens - A bomb apparently meant for Michalis Chrysohoidis, the Greek minister in charge of the police force, has instead killed his aide, Georges Vassilakis. Chrysohoidis was in an adjacent room of the ministry for citizen protection when the bomb went off.
Reports indicate Greek minister Michalis Chrysohoidis was the target of unknown attackers who succeeded in getting a bomb into the heavily guarded headquarters of the Ministry for Civil Protection on Thursday.
However, the ministers aide, Georges Vassilakis, was the one to open the parcel that seems to have been wrapped as a gift. Vassilakis died instantly when the bomb exploded. No one else was hurt, although the minister was present in the adjacent room.
The Athens News Agency reports that police are investigating how the explosive device was brought into the ministry and reached the 7th floor. For the moment, that is a true mystery, since sources at the ministry have said that all security systems, including weapons and explosives detection devices had been functioning.
The bombing comes amid a general rise in the number of attacks on police and public buildings. Most previous bombings have been the actions of various ultra-left and anarchist groups, but no such groups has as yet claimed responsibility for the attack that took place at 8 p.m. on Thursday.
It's not the first time a minister in charge of the country's security has been targeted either; two of Chrysohoidis's predecessors survived bombings, with the present minister being the third.
Politicians from both left- and right-wing parties have spoken out against what they see as a terrorist act and all have expressed their regret at the death of 52-year-old Georges Vassilakis.
The website of Terrorism News reports that the building on the outskirts of the capital was evacuated immediately after the explosion, and right now investigators are combing the crime scene leads.
Chrysohoidis, who took office in 2009, had previously vowed he would crack down on all militant groups in the country and his track record is good; in the past when he held the same job, in 2002, he dismantled the Nov. 17 group, Greeceā€™s most lethal guerrillas or terrorists.
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