Car bomb explodes outside Bank of Greece building in Athens

Car bomb explodes outside Bank of Greece building in Athens

PanARMENIAN.Net - A car bomb went off outside a Bank of Greece building in central Athens early on Thursday, April 10, smashing windows in nearby shops but causing no injuries Reuters reported, citing police and witnesses.

The blast struck hours before Greece planned its first foray into the international bond markets since it plunged into a debt crisis four years ago, and a day before a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

An anonymous caller warned a newspaper of the attack about 45 minutes before the explosion just before 6 am, saying it contained about 70 kg (155 pounds) of explosives, said a police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but police believed leftist or anarchist groups were behind it, the official said.

Witnesses saw debris strewn across the street in a busy part of the capital lined with banks, shops and a mall, according to Reuters.

Makeshift bomb and arson attacks have escalated since Greece adopted unpopular austerity measures in exchange for multibillion euro bailouts by the European Union and International Monetary Fund in 2010.

Small scale attacks against politicians, journalists and businesspeople are frequent in Greece, with its long history of political violence.

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