ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Militant anarchists claimed responsibility on Thursday for a bomb blast in an Athens shopping mall that lightly wounded two security guards during a resurgence of far-left political violence in Greece.
In a proclamation posted on a left-wing website, the self-described "partnership of anarchist organizations" Wild Freedom and Instigators of Social Explosions said they planted the bomb, which exploded Sunday.
The two groups, which had not been involved in any notable previous attacks, said they targeted the mall because it represents "a vast cemetery of humans and real values." Greece is struggling through its worst economic crisis in decades and has imposed harsh income reductions and tax increases to secure international loans that are keeping it afloat after years of budget overspending that racked up a mountain of debt.
The proclamation said the two anarchist groups did not intend to cause injuries and had provided authorities with sufficient warning before the bomb exploded. The mall's shops were closed that day, but cafeterias, restaurants and cinemas were open. Authorities evacuated those facilities when the anonymous warning calls came in.
A decade ago, Greece's deadliest left-wing terrorist group was eradicated, but anarchist militants have recently stepped up attacks on what they regard as symbols of wealth and authority. After authorities evacuated two buildings occupied by anarchist squatters in Athens this month, militants targeted journalists, political party offices and banks in a string of overnight arson attacks that caused minor damage and no injuries.
In a more serious pre-dawn attack on Jan. 14, gunmen opened fire at the facade of the governing conservative party's headquarters. Nobody was hurt, and no group has claimed responsibility for the shooting.
Thursday's proclamation by Wild Freedom and Instigators of Social Explosions expressed solidarity with the evicted squatters, and with jailed anarchist militants.