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Greece to put 4-million-euro bounty on extremists

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Greece will offer a four-million-euro ($5,4-million) reward for the arrest of several wanted extremists, the minister in charge of the police said on Wednesday.

"During the day, a reward of four million euros for terrorists' arrest will be announced", Citizen's Protection Minister Nikos Dendias said during a visit to the police headquarters.

"Terrorism constitutes a challenge to our country, to justice and to our efforts to boost the economy, to attract investment... Greek authorities will do whatever it takes to fight terrorism", Dendias said.

A police source specified that the reward is offered for information on three known far-left extremists and the unknown killers of two neo-Nazi members last November.

One of those targetted is Christodoulos Xiros, a far-left militant belonging to Greece's deadliest extremist group, November 17, who disappeared on January 7 whilst on a nine-day prison leave.

His disappearance caused alarm in the United States, with the State Department calling for his swift capture.

The bounty also concerns two other leading left-wing militants of the group Revolutionary Struggle -- Nikos Maziotis and his companion Panagiota Roupa -- who had been conditionally released from prison in 2012 and subsequently disappeared.

Xiros on Monday released an online tract accompanied by a brief video of himself where he threatened to engage in further guerilla action.

The Greek government is battling a resurgence in extremist activity at a time when the country is holding the EU presidency and struggling to emerge from a crippling recession.

In December, unknown attackers fired automatic rifle shots at the German's ambassador residence in Athens without causing any injuries.

A month earlier, two members of neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn were fatally shot outside an Athens district office, and another was seriously injured.

One gunman was caught on security camera footage and police said at least another person was involved in the attack.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140122/greece-put-4-million-euro-bounty-extremists