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Seven attacks on buses over the course of one month alone

11 December 2014 / 17:12:45  GRReporter
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The new phenomenon of masked youths stopping in the streets buses full of passengers and setting them on fire with Molotov bombs, having previously forced the passengers to quickly leave them, is assuming alarming proportions.

The dangerous phenomenon has recently got out of control. As president of "Passenger Transport" Yiannis Economou points out before the newspaper "Ethnos", 7 attacks on buses have been carried out over the past month alone.

Two of the cases are known. They occurred on Tuesday after the rally in support of Nikos Romanos. The perpetrators had stopped buses passing in the neighbourhood of Exarcheia, forced the drivers and passengers to get off, and then set fire to the vehicles with Molotov bombs. One of the buses is completely burnt.

The cases that have been unknown so far had occurred in the Athens suburbs of Peristeri and Egaleo where masked persons had inflicted minor damage on passing buses with stones and sprays. "The fact is that we are seriously concerned that this phenomenon can grow. Our responsibility for the people we transport is great," said president of the trade union of public transport workers in Athens Leonidas Skoulos.

The authorities have linked the attacks by masked youths to the hunger strike by Nikos Romanos.

The most recent case occurred yesterday morning when a group of masked youths threatened with Molotov bombs the bus driver and the passengers, forcing them to get off and setting fire to the vehicle afterwards.

There was panic for a few minutes, since, according to the story of the driver, the perpetrators had started hitting the windows, asked him to turn to the right and let off the passengers. He opened the bus doors but because he did not immediately get off, they shouted at him, "Get off or we will burn you too."

The incident occurred at 6:10 pm on Patission Avenue. Bus № 608 had just stopped at the bus stop near the Polytechnic School, where Patission Avenue intersects with Stournari Street.

The driver had suddenly seen in front of him, in the middle of the street, a group of about 15 youths with hoods and hats who wanted him to stop the bus.

According to sources, the driver had slowed down but did not stop. He did so only when the masked youths blocked his way. When the frightened passengers who were going to work left the bus, the masked persons smashed a window and threw several Molotov bombs into the bus.

Fortunately, there are no injuries. The material damage inflicted on the bus is minor, as the bombs failed to explode, and the driver and a policeman who had immediately arrived at the scene were able to limit the fire and quickly extinguish it.

According to the Greek police, the masked youths had thrown stones at the policemen who were on duty near the Polytechnic School. The circulation of vehicles on Patission Avenue was temporarily suspended.

Tags: AttacksBusesPublic transportMolotov bombsAnarchistsNikos Romanos
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