Greek Police Destroy Suspected Bomb Outside Athens Labor Ministry

Athens petrol bomb
A petrol bomb explodes next to riot police during clashes following an anniversary rally marking the 2008 police shooting of a 15-year-old student, Athens, Greece, December 6. Police destroyed a suspected bomb outside the Athens labor ministry Monday. Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

Greek police found and later detonated an explosive device that had been left outside the labor ministry in central Athens on Monday, police sources said, after a newspaper was tipped off that a bomb had been planted.

Police found the device in a rucksack propped up against the shutters of the ministry, on a central thoroughfare in Athens. It was one of three suspect packages that police examined on the scene and then destroyed in controlled blasts.

Earlier, a telephone call to a Greek newspaper had warned that a blast outside the ministry was imminent.

There was no claim of responsibility for the incident.

Such attacks are not uncommon in Greece, which has a long history of political violence. Small-scale attacks have escalated since 2010, when the government first adopted unpopular austerity measures in exchange for multi-billion-euro bailouts from the European Union and the IMF.