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Far-left group claims attack on Greek ruling party HQ

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

An unknown Greek far-left group on Wednesday claimed responsibility for firing a bullet through Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' office in a strafing attack against the headquarters of the conservative ruling party in January.

In a message posted on anti-establishment site Indymedia Athens, the group calling itself 'Band of Popular Fighters' said the attack, in which no one was injured, was carried out to send "a political message" and embolden anti-austerity protesters.

"We attempted to strike the building with a rocket-propelled grenade. When the missile proved defective, we machine-gunned the prime minister's office with a Kalashnikov (assault rifle)," the text read.

The group said it wanted to wage a "revolutionary struggle" to take Greece out of the European Union which it said had exploited the country through mass exports for decades.

It claimed that the tough terms of Greece's EU-International Monetary Fund bailout agreements were the equivalent of a "labour and social slaughterhouse" for the working classes and would turn the country into a creditor "colony".

The group also hailed anti-austerity protests, including an arson attack against the worksite of a Canadian mining firm in northern Greece in February.

And it warned police that it would strike again, saying "police guarding our future targets would be well advised to do nothing".

According to police at the time of the strafing attack, two assailants had parked near the New Democracy party offices on a busy Athens highway at around 2:30 am (0030 GMT) on January 14.

After being spotted by security guards, the men opened fire, returned to the car and drove away. No one was hurt.

One bullet was found in Samaras' third-floor office and another on the roof.

Samaras' coalition government was elected a year ago and has been applying unpopular austerity measures tied to Greece's bailout loans for a fourth straight year.

There have been several arson attacks against targets linked to the main ruling party in recent months, including the home of the government spokesman's brother.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130626/far-left-group-claims-attack-greek-ruling-party-hq