A little bit after 02:00pm on Thursday three handmade explosives were found in three central churches – in Athens, Pieria, and Thessaloniki. In all three cases a phone call was received, which warned that the device will explode in 45 minutes.
Regarding the bomb, which was put in the Athenian Cathedral church, unknown individuals had made warning calls to the Special Forces services in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the “Elefretotipia” newspaper, and the TV channel SKAI.
After the phone call, the streets around the church were closed off for few hours. During the search, pyrotechnics found a travel bag with three gas cylinders, a big bottle of gasoline, paper and an old clock, which was set to ring at 03:40pm. The reason why they didn’t explode was because they were not connected.
The only bomb, which was activated was the one in Pieria, in the Trinity church. The fire was small and did not cause big damages inside the church. The priest smelled the smoke, while a parishioner was making a confession. The priest acted fast and successfully put out the fire with the extinguisher in the church.
The explosive mechanisms in Thessaloniki – St. Dimitar and St. Sophia churches, were the same as the ones in Pieria and Athens. All devices have been collected by the pyrotechnics from the Department for Dismantling Explosives and taken to the labs of the Criminality Services, where they are being investigated.
The deputy minister of internal affairs, who is responsible for public order issues Hristos Markoyanakis said that “one of the biggest problems, which is also a challenge for us and which we face in many cities around Greece, is the activity of anarchist groups.”
Later on during the day, the responsibility of the attacks was taken by the organization “Conspiracy of the fire nuclei in Athens and Thessaloniki.” The website of the organization justifies the attack with the explanation that the church is a mechanism of the authorities, which aims to overpower society.