ATHENS – Already awash with dozens of anarchist groups, Greece is now dealing with another that said it was behind an armed assault on riot police in the anarchist hotbed neighborhood of Exarchia, the scene of near warfare between the two sides.
Ballistics tests have indicated that a guerrilla group called Organization for Revolutionary Self-Defense conducted the attack, the newspaper Kathimerini said, after citing the results of tests on four assault rifles that showed they were the same weapons using in previous assaults, including at the Mexican Embassy.
Revolutionary Self-Defense said it was behind that attack as well as on the offices of the former PASOK Socialists, now the Democratic Alignment. The group has also claimed a hand grenade attack on the French Embassy in November 2016 in which a guard was injured.
There were no injuries reported in the battle with the riot cops who are regularly besieged by attackers. Two officers spotted their assailant when he was approaching and dodged the bullets fired from a distance of 30-40 meters (131-164 feet.) It wasn’t reported if they returned the fire.
“The officers were the target, not PASOK’s offices. The shots were fired at head height,” the Vice President of the Union of Athens Police Employees, Dimosthenis Pakos, told Kathimerini. If so, it would represent an escalation in attacks against government and business figures and establishments aimed at killing.
Police investigators believe that Organization for Revolutionary Self-Defense may have only a few members unlike others going after supporters of austerity measures and other targets, mostly in Athens.
A gun attack in January came a few days after the arrest of Panagiota Roupa, a leading member of Revolutionary Struggle, and the new assault was a week after the arrest of a suspected member of Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire who is believed to have mailed letter bombs to former prime minister Lucas Papademos and top European officials earlier this year.