Greek police were investigating a possible terrorism link to a bank robbery and shootout that left four people wounded in central Athens, officials said Tuesday. One suspect, 27-year-old student Yiannis Dimitrakis, was arrested after being injured in Monday's shooting, authorities said. Police recovered two submachine guns, three hand grenades, eight ammunition clips and Ђ49,000 ($59,350) of stolen money.
Three of the armed robbers, one of them also injured, escaped. A bank security guard and a 70-year-old lottery ticket vendor were also injured in the gunfire exchange. Police on Tuesday said the same gang was suspected of five other heists, snatching more than Ђ500,000 ($605,500) since 2002, and were being investigated for a possible link to far-left Greek urban guerrilla groups that have staged a spate of recent bomb attacks in Athens.
Revolutionary Struggle and Popular Revolutionary Action have been blamed for the bombings of three government ministries last year. One of the attacks, outside the National Economy Ministry on Dec. 12, caused extensive damage and three minor injuries. "All options are open," Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis said when asked about the terror link in the latest case. The armed robbers used a stopwatch to time their bank raid, police said. The timer was stopped at 57 seconds, reports the AP. N.U.