Attackers on a motorcycle threw an explosive device, possibly a hand grenade, at the French embassy in central Athens early on Thursday, wounding a security guard, police said.
No one claimed responsibility for the attack on the building opposite parliament, in one of Athens’s best-guarded areas. The attack occurred less than a week before U.S. President Barack Obama visits Greece on Nov. 15-16.
“It was probably a hand grenade,” one police official told Reuters. The building was not damaged but one officer there was slightly injured, the official said.
“Greek police will carry out their duty to identify the perpetrators and guarantee the protection of all citizens,”
-government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said.
“The relations of friendship and solidarity between Greece and France can’t be affected in the slightest by such terrorist acts.”
Police cordoned off the area securing surrounding streets while motorcycle units searched for the assailants, after checking the security cameras.
A motorcycle that matches the description of the one the assailants were riding was found in Exarchia. The motorcycle was not locked and its engine was still warm. It has been taken to forensics for further checks.
Meanwhile, the counter-terrorism unit of Hellenic Police is investigating terrorist groups that had launched similar attacks in the past.