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Learning English - Words in the News
05 May, 2004 - Published 11:58 GMT
Athens hit by explosions
Investigators at blast scene
The blasts injured a policeman and badly damaged a police station

Three bombs have exploded outside a police station in the Greek capital Athens. The police say no one was killed or injured, but there was a lot of damage to the building. The attack comes exactly 100 days before the Olympics begin in Athens. This report from Richard Galpin:

Listen to the story

All three bombs exploded within half an hour of each other outside a police station south of the city centre. A national newspaper received an anonymous phone call warning about the attack just minutes before the first device exploded in the early hours of the morning. A fourth device was found by the bomb squad and destroyed in a controlled explosion. The whole area has been cordoned off and the anti-terrorism unit of the police has begun an investigation.

So far, the police have not said what kind of bombs were used in the attack and no one has admitted responsibility. But suspicion is bound to fall on radical left-wing organisations which have carried out similar attacks in the past.

Last September, two bombs exploded in the precinct of the main law courts in Athens, also early in the morning. The Greek authorities have launched a crackdown on left-wing extremists in recent years because of concerns about security during the Olympics. The leaders of one organisation responsible for a series of murders and bombings in recent decades were jailed last December and are serving long prison sentences. Members of another smaller group are currently on trial.

Richard Galpin, BBC, Athens

Listen to the words

an anonymous phone call
when the person who makes the call does not give their name

here, bomb or weapon

detonated, went off

a controlled explosion
when the police make a bomb safe by using a small explosion

cordoned off
if an area has been cordoned off, the police have stopped people entering it by using barriers and tape

suspicion is bound to fall on
people will naturally think that a particular group is responsible

radical left-wing organisations
groups with very strong socialist, communist or Marxist beliefs

a crackdown on
when the police take strong action against a particular group or against a particular kind of crime

people whose political or religious beliefs and actions are not shared by most people and who can be prepared to use violence to try to change society


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