Missile Hits U.S. Embassy in Greece
Leftist Group Said to Take Responsibility; No Injuries Reported
Friday, January 12, 2007; 2:06 PM
A rocket-propelled missile hit the U.S. Embassy in Athens early this morning, causing minor damage to an upper-floor window and a room that gets infrequent use, according to U.S. State Department officials and embassy officials in Greece.
In a message issued today, the State Department indicated that "unknown persons" fired the missile at the embassy at 5:55 a.m. local time. No one was in the area of the building at the time, and no one was hurt, an embassy official said. About 400 people work at the U.S. Embassy in Athens.
Police officials have said they believe the missile was fired from a building across the street, and they are investigating.
"There can be no justification for such a senseless act of violence," U.S. Ambassador Charles P. Ries said this morning, according to a transcript posted on the embassy Web site. "I treat this as a serious attack."
U.S. officials said they had no warning. Greece's public order minister told Greek television that the Revolutionary Struggle group claimed responsibility in an anonymous telephone call, according to Bloomberg News. The group is a local leftist organization that has claimed responsibility for previous bombings in Greece.
There were no follow-up attacks.
"The Embassy advises Americans to exercise normal caution and prudence and to monitor the Embassy website for further information," the message says.