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Greek immigration office damaged by bomb blast March 24, 2010

Posted by Yilan in EU, European Union, Yunanistan.
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A home-made bomb exploded outside a building housing immigration offices in Athens Saturday causing some damage but no one was hurt, police said.

Police cordoned off the area after an anonymous caller warned a newspaper and a television network of the explosion which damaged a fence around the building in the Petrou Ralli district, a bus shelter and nearby shop windows.

The device had been deposited in a bag near the shelter.

Earlier Saturday, a bomb exploded outside the home of a Pakistani community leader in Athens without injuring anyone.

Anonymous warnings made by telephone to a Greek television station and a newspaper 15 minutes before the explosion also enabled police to seal off the area.

Media reports said the bomb targeted the home of the chairman of the Greek-Pakistan friendship association.

The Pakistani community in Greece numbers several thousand members, most of whom live in the greater Athens area.

Muslim migrants in Greece have faced increasing hostility from far-right militants in recent years, and the Pakistani community has frequently denounced attacks on its members by Greek youths.

Saturday’s first bombing occurred in the central Athens district of Agios Panteleimonas which has a strong immigrant presence and where protests both in favour and against foreigners have been held in recent months.

Last month a gang of mostly teenagers set fire to a house in Sparta, southern Greece as a group of Bangladeshi migrants slept inside.

In May, five Bangladeshi migrants were injured after unknown assailants tried to burn down a makeshift mosque in Athens.

Greece has no licensed mosques except in a northeastern region near the border with Turkey where a Greek Muslim minority of Turkish origin lives.

Thousands of Muslims immigrants elsewhere in the country use rented flats and warehouses for their prayers.



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