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Settling accounts through 'kidnapping' in the centre of Athens

31 March 2014 / 16:03:57  GRReporter
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According to the police, the victims of the attack carried out by armed and masked anarchists on the evening of 22 March (Saturday) were Albanian drug traffickers who had recently tried to expand their business in Exarcheia square. A senior police officer states that the two Albanians who were 'kidnapped' shortly after 10:00 pm from Exarcheia square were members of a gang controlling the drug trafficking in the same square, Strefi hill and in other areas.
The same source describes the masked kidnappers as aged between 25 and 40 years, and two or three of them are believed to have links with anarchists. According to him, the group involves people who probably took part in the armed attack on the corner of Themistokleous and  Koleti streets in Exarcheia last November that claimed one victim - an Albanian, aged 29, investigated in the past for drug trafficking, was killed then. The case is being investigated by the homicide police department.


"We are almost certain that the victims were members of an Albanian group that, over the past 20 days, had tried to sell "protection" to the restaurants in Exarcheia square. The purpose of the masked attackers was to intimidate them, sending the message that they would use weapons the next time," a senior police officer states before Kathimerini newspaper.

It seems that the police are already aware of the identity of some of the 15 or 20 people involved in the attack last Saturday. In particular, the initiator and coordinator of the attack is considered an old participant in the anarchic movement who is probably playing, at present, a major role in an establishment in Exarcheia square, which anarchists frequently visit. After a search of his home carried out in January, he posted on the Internet a letter in which he justified the possession of illegal weapons with the fact that drug trafficking gangs in Exarcheia square were after him.

According to police sources, 2-3 other persons from the anarchistic circles whose homes were searched after the disappearance of Christodoulos Xiros have been identified as participants in the attack.


The testimony available to the police makes it clear that the majority of the perpetrators wore masks and helmets, and three or four of the men had pistols (or hunting rifles, according to another version). The attack took place shortly after 10:00 pm and lasted for about 15 minutes. The attackers reached the square having passed along Themistokleous street, fleeing along the same street. "On the day of the attack the suspected perpetrators did not go to the establishment where they usually gather in order for us to be unable to track their actions", a Greek police officer tells Kathimerini newspaper.

"Political operation"

Let us recall that a text associated with the events on Saturday was uploaded on Athens Indymedia, which defines the attack as a "political operation", "Comrades anarchists, we carried out a political operation with a clear message, directed to multiple recipients. From now on hostility against the inhabitants of the region, politically active citizens and the places they usually visit will not be tolerated. We do not intend to allow the historic area of Exarcheia to become a toy of all sorts of gangs and groups."

However, police officers still leave open the probability of the events of last Saturday being associated with the attempts to provoke unrest in prisons throughout the country. As they explain, "confrontation between Albanians and Greek anarchists operating in the area of ​​Exarcheia probably hides behind the case of 'kidnapping' due to the latter's refusal to participate in the attempted incitement of riots in prisons." Furthermore, the Greek police associate the attempted bombing (with 8.5 kg of ammonium nitrate) at the tax office in Korydallos last Monday morning with the latest developments in prisons throughout the country.

Tags: KidnappingAlbaniansDrug traffickingAnarchistsExarcheia
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