Anarchist Bombing in Athens Protests Papal Visit

ATHENS, Greece, APR. 24, 2001 ( An anarchist group claimed responsibility for Sunday´s explosion of a bomb near a church in central Athens, in protest against John Paul II´s forthcoming visit.

The explosion occurred in front of the offices of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Orthodox Church. Damage was slight, police said, according to the Associated Press.

In a telephone call to an Athens newspaper, the spokesman for a group identifying itself as Struggle Against Power claimed responsibility for the attack. He also said the Pope was “responsible for the massacre in the Balkans.”

The spokesman also criticized Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Istanbul, “primus inter pares” among Orthodox Churches, for not having spoken out against the Turkish government over a prison hunger strike which resulted in 16 deaths among prisoners and relatives.