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Bomb strikes Athens Court of Appeals

At least four people participated in the bombing last night at the Athens Court of Appeals, as shown by the first evidence and counter-terrorism squad estimates.

According to a police officer who was sitting in the courtroom, a closed van pulled up to the building, from which two people deposited the bomb at the entrance to the Court of Appeals. One more person was waiting in the back of the vehicle and there was certainly a driver. Counter-terrorism squad believe that, at least, four people among whom the manufacturer are at large.

It was reportedly a bomb-backpack made of ammonium niotrate or anfo, which was placed right at the entrance to the Court of Appeals, a closed area. That's why it caused such great damage from the thrust generated.

The images of counter-terrorist officers on the spot are indicative of the destruction wrought. They are seen treading amid debris, twisted metal, broken glass, marble slabs from the entrance and other ruins, slowly, in their attempt to locate the remains of the bomb and the bag in which it was placed, as well as other crucial evidence.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis revealed that there were shoots fired against the Court of Appeals.

Speaking to public broadcaster ERT, Mr Contonis said that "the bomb is an act absolutely condemnable because it is hideous." And he added: "They were not only aiming at causing damage but also taking human lives, specifically the life of the guard. There was a shot or shots against the guard. The aim was to kill the man. I say this so we do not underestimate the fact. The guard suffered this cowardly and miserable attack. "

A police officer reportedly said he heard something like a shot when the terrorists were leaving the Court of Appeals after the bomb was placed.

According to the first estimates of the Counter-Terrorism Squad, behind this bombing is either an organization called OLA or the Organization of Revolutionary Self-Defense.

Most likely, however, all assumptions point to OLA, as usually the Revolutionary Self-Defense Organization uses heavy armament and grenades in their strikes.

These groups are composed of uncaptured members of terrorist organizations and individuals with knowledge in the construction of bombs.

However, what is striking is the fact that the terrorists went with a van to such a well-guarded point.

At 2:50 there were warning phone calls to two web site offices and a newspaper. The stranger who called said that in 40 minutes a bomb would explode at the Appeals Court.

Immediately polic e officers evacuated the area.

And indeed, an explosive mechanism was triggered at 03.25.

From the very first moment, the Bomb Disposal Department rushed to the scene.