Thursday, February 5, 2009

US Embassy Guard Shot

U.S. embassy security guard shot by police officer
February 5, 2009, 11:45

A policeman shot and seriously wounded a security guard outside the U.S. ambassador’s home on Wednesday in Athens. After a shooting two months ago touched off Greece’s worst riots in decades, authorities moved quickly to quell any public anger by announcing the suspension of the head of the local police station and a senior Athens policeman.

A 38-year-old police officer, detained standing over the victim, also was suspended and faces a disciplinary inquiry. December’s shooting of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos prompted weeks of demonstrations across Greece, fed by economic hardship, and gun attacks on police by left-wing guerrillas.The 31-year-old embasssy guard was in serious condition in hospital after being shot through the neck in broad daylight in central Athens.

"I want to express my sympathy for what this young guard and his family are going through and wish him a speedy recovery,“ U.S. Ambassador Daniel V. Speckhard said in a statement.
The chief of the police station in the Athens district of Ambelokipi told investigators the policeman had no disciplinary record.

However, police sources said the officer in the past had been reprimanded for urinating in his guard booth and being naked except for his underwear on duty. He previously threatened another security guard with his weapon, the sources said. "The officer has given 10 different explanations for the incident,“ one police official, who asked not to be identified, said. "It looks like he may have psychological problems."

The shooting followed a gun-and-grenade attack on an Athens police station on Tuesday, in which no one was injured. A previously unknown group calling itself Rebel Sect claimed responsibility on Wednesday for the raid in a CD found by police after an anonymous call to a local evening newspaper. Police could not immediately verify the authenticity of the claim. The statement described guns used in Tuesday’s attack and made threats against police. It also hinted politicians and journalists could be targeted, sources at the newspaper said.

(Article from here.)

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