German Ambassador’s Residence in Athens Sprayed With Bullets

Unidentified gunmen shot at German ambassador Wolfgang Dold’s residence in the northern Athens suburb of Halandri in what the Greek government described as a “cowardly terrorist act.”

No one was injured in the attack, which took place about 3.30 a.m., Greek police said in a text message. Forensics investigators found 60 bullet casings at the scene, fired from two Kalashnikov assault rifles not linked to any previous crimes, police said.

“The Greek government expresses its outrage and total condemnation of today’s cowardly terrorist act,” the Athens-based Foreign Ministry said in an e-mail. “The only apparent objective of this attack is to tarnish the image of Greece abroad a few days before it assumes the presidency of the European Union.”

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said he expects the country to showcase its recovery from its economic crisis during its turn at the rotating six-month EU presidency, which begins Jan. 1. German politicians have in the past criticized Greece’s efforts to overhaul its economy after receiving a 240 billion-euro ($331 billion) bailout from the euro area and International Monetary Fund.

Samaras spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel by phone after the incident, German government chief spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin. German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said the incident will not taint relations between the two countries and Greece will step up security at German facilities.

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