Explosive device found on empty Athens subway train

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 26, 2012 9:08 AM
Explosive device found on empty Athens subway train

ATHENS (Reuters) - An explosive device which had not been activated was discovered on an empty subway train at a metro station Saturday evening, Greek police said.

The train driver found the device hidden in a backpack left on a seat which contained two small gas canisters with about 1.5 liters of gasoline, a timer, wires and batteries, police said on Sunday. It was not programmed to explode.

Greece's anti-terrorist force is investigating the incident, but police said they believed the device was likely linked to an far-left group.

"Police believe the intended target was not the train or the metro station," a police official said. "The bomb was not activated."

Fringe extremist groups have been frequently blamed for inciting violence during riots in central Athens against austerity measures imposed by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Small numbers of hooded protesters have often hurled petrol bombs at police during the demonstrations. Gas canisters have also been left at tax offices and politicians' offices.

(Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas, Writing by Deepa Babington; Editing by Sophie Hares)