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Arsonists strike at two cities in Greece

SUSPECTED anarchists firebombed politicians' offices, banks, a car dealership and parked vehicles during a spate of coordinated night attacks in Greece's two largest cities.

Nobody was injured and there were no arrests or claims of responsibility for the attacks in Athens and Thessaloniki late on Monday and early yesterday, the latest in a surge of violence sweeping the country.

In Athens, five banks were set on fire with improvised incendiary devices, as well as a Mercedes dealership where three cars were destroyed.

In other parts of the capital, arsonists burned a car with diplomatic plates, a security company's van and two vehicles belonging to the state power corporation.

All the Athens attacks took place within a 15-minute period from 1am yesterday.

Firefighters soon put out the blazes, but the full extent of the damage was not immediately clear.

In the northern port city of Thessaloniki late on Monday, arsonists exploded small camping-gas canisters outside the constituency offices of five serving or former politicians, including a deputy interior minister and a former interior minister. The attacks caused minor damage.

A similar device outside the office of Deputy Minister for Sports Yiannis Ioannidis failed to detonate.

Small anarchist groups frequently target symbols of state authority and wealth.

But the firebombings have increased since the police shooting of a teenager last December, which sparked the country's worst riots in decades.

Far-left terrorist groups also redoubled their attacks after the December violence, targeting police, banks and a government building with bombs, assault rifles and hand grenades. So far, these attacks have only injured one policeman.


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