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Grenade thrown at French embassy in Athens

Grenade thrown at French embassy in AthensAttackers on a motorcycle threw an explosive device, possibly a hand grenade, at the French embassy in central Athens early on Thursday, Reuters reported.

Authorities said the policeman, who had been on guard outside the embassy, was wounded when unknown assailants threw a hand grenade outside the embassy building, located opposite Parliament on a major avenue.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack on the building opposite parliament, in one of Athens's best-guarded areas.

Police said the attack was apparently carried out by two people on a motorbike, and a bike matching the description was later found in a central Athens neighborhood popular with anarchists and was being examined to determine whether it was the one that had been used in the attack.

"It was probably a hand grenade," one police official told Reuters. The building was not damaged but one officer there was slightly injured, the official said.

"Greek police will carry out their duty to identify the perpetrators and guarantee the protection of all citizens," government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said.

Police shut down the area to vehicles and pedestrians, while anti-terrorism forensics experts combed the scene for evidence.

Greece's finance ministry, also close to parliament, was evacuated on Thursday following a bomb threat which turned to be a hoax, police said.

Small-scale attacks on businesses, police, politicians and embassies are frequent in Greece, with its long history of political violence. Left-wing urban guerrilla groups often claim responsibility.
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