Unidentified assailants opened fire on the Israeli embassy in Athens with a Kalashnikov assault rifle in the early hours of Friday, police said, but no injuries or damage were reported.
Four people on motorcycles fired shots at the embassy building in a northern suburb of Athens at about 3 A.M., a police official said. Bullets were lodged in the walls, 54 bullet casings from an AK-47 assault rifle — a weapon favored by Greek anarchist militant groups — were recovered outside the embassy, on a busy road junction that was closed to traffic for hours.
Nobody claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred long before the building opened for business.
Police have cordoned off the area around the embassy and forensics experts in white protective clothing were searching the area. The embassy has not been a target in other acts of low-level violence in Greece in recent years as an economic crisis raises social and political tensions.
Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon told Haaretz Friday morning that some 15 shots were fired toward the embassy building in Athens overnight, apparently from an automatic rifle. No-one from the embassy staff was injured and local authorities were taking care of the incident together with the embassy's security team, he added.
If the incident in fact turns out to be a terrorist attack against the embassy, this would be the first serious attack against an Israeli embassy since the terror attack in New Delhi, India in 2012, in which the wife of an embassy staffer was injured. Iranian agents were apparently behind that attack.
One year ago, a small left-wing terrorist group called "Popular Fighters" claimed responsibility for a similar gunfire attack outside the German ambassador's residence in Athens, which caused no injuries.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now