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British Military Attache's Greek Guard Gunned Down


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A Greek police guard was gunned down outside the British military attache’s home in an Athens suburb before dawn today.

Four years ago the then British military attache, Brigadier Stephen Saunders, was shot and killed by terrorists as he drove to work from the same suburb, Kifissia.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for today’s killing and the British Embassy had no comment.

Haralambos Amanatidis, 32, was shot at least eight times at his guard post and his weapon – a submachine gun – was taken, police said.

The exact circumstances of the shooting remained unclear, but the guard shack was riddled with bullets.

No one else was was reported injured.

Police have not ruled out terrorism, but said tests showed the weapon used to kill Amanatidis had not been used in any known terrorist attacks in Greece.

“He was found dead at his guard post. He has been shot eight to nine times and his service weapon was taken. It is too early to say anything more,” police director Vasilis Tsiatouras said at the scene.

Police were examining video tape from CTV cameras installed around the home for clues.

There have been no attacks against foreign diplomats or officials in Greece since June 2000, when the November 17 terrorist group shot and killed Brigadier Saunders as he drove his Rover car to work.

Two years after the killing, police broke up November 17 and arrested 15 of its members, including its leader. They were convicted in 2003 and all are serving long prison terms in a specially built wing of a maximum security prison near Athens.

November 17 was blamed for 23 killings and dozens of bomb and rocket attacks since 1975. Its victims included diplomats and military officials from Britain, Turkey and the United States.


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