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Europe

One dead after bomb blast at well-guarded Greek ministry

A letter bomb snuck into the Greek public order ministry building has exploded, killing one person. The blast occurred near Minister Michalis Chryssohoidis's office, who was uninjured.

Greek officers outside the Public Order Ministry

Officials are calling the bomb an act of terrorism

An explosion in the Greek public order ministry has left a man dead after a bomb went off inside the building.

The victim, George Vassilakis, a close aide of Civil Protection Minister Michalis Chryssohoidis.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou condemned the bombing of the ministry, which also house police headquarters as a "terrorist attack."

"I express my pain and indignation to each Greek citizen for this terrorist act," Papandreou said in a statement.

The bomb was hidden in a package made to look like a gift and taken to the seventh floor of the heavily-guarded building. Vassilakis was killed while attempting to open the package.

Minister Chryssohoidis was also in the building when the bomb exploded, but was not harmed by the blast.

A tearful Chryssohoidis told reporters outside the ministry building that he had lost "a dear and beloved colleague."

Left-wing militants have a history of violence in Greece, but so far no one immediately claimed responsibility for the blast.

Author: Matt Zuvela (Reuters/AP/AFP)
Editor: Andreas Illmer

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