World

Athens bomb targets McDonald's restaurant

A time bomb exploded outside a McDonald's restaurant in central Athens early Friday, causing extensive damage in what Greek authorities suspect was an attack by resurgent far-left terrorists.

No casualties reported

A time bomb exploded outside a McDonald's restaurant in central Athens early Friday, causing extensive damage in what Greek authorities suspect was an attack by resurgent far-left terrorists.

Police said the bomb went off at 4:37 a.m. local time in the central Ambelokipi district, when the fast food restaurant was closed. Anonymous warning calls made to two Athens newspapers before the attack allowed officers to cordon off the area before the explosion, and there were no injuries.

The blast shattered windows in nearby shops and apartment blocks, leaving broken glass and dead pigeons on sidewalks.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but police spokesman Panagiotis Stathis said police suspect a group that calls itself "Revolutionary Struggle."

The group, which the U.S. designated as an international terrorist organization in May, has carried out more than a dozen bomb and shooting attacks since 2003, including a bloodless 2007 rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy in Athens.

In January, the group claimed responsibility for a shooting attack that severely wounded a riot policeman guarding a ministry building in central Athens.

2 other blasts

Stathis said Friday's attack was clearly aimed at the McDonald's restaurant.

"The McDonald's restaurant was definitely the target," Stathis said. "The bomb was placed under a wheelchair ramp outside it. The warning call also named the restaurant."

Shortly afterwards, an incendiary device consisting of canisters containing camp stove fuel exploded outside an Athens immigration policy centre, while a similar device went off outside the office of former public order minister Sifis Valyrakis. Neither of those attacks caused any injuries.

Greek militants have stepped up attacks following the fatal police shooting of an Athens teenager in December, which sparked the country's worst rioting in decades.

In the bloodiest incident so far, gunmen shot dead an anti-terrorist officer guarding a witness in Athens on June 17.

Small anarchist groups have also intensified arson attacks on symbols of wealth and state power, to protest government social and economic policies.