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Greece: Hellas gold mine raided by masked intruders

Hellas gold mine, in northern Greece, was raided by at least 40 masked intruders overnight.

Greek mining hellasEnlarge
Demonstrators, wearing chemical protection suits, shout slogans as they march in Thessaloniki on 24 November, 2012 against efforts by Hellas Gold, a subsidiary of the Canadian firm Eldorado Gold, to mine the Skouries quarry on Mount Kakkavos, in the Halkidiki peninsula in northern Greece. Eldorado Gold says it plans to plough around one billion euros (1.2 billion US dollars) into the mines of Halkidiki, which have been producing lead, zinc and silver for decades. (Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP/Getty Images)

Hellas gold mine in northern Greece was raided by at least 40 masked intruders overnight on Sunday. 

The intruders tied two of the facility's security guards up and doused them in gasoline, threatening to burn them to death, before setting the prospective gold mine's offices and equipment on fire, a police officer told the Associated Press

The attackers reportedly left the area on foot, blocking the roads with logs to delay firefighters from getting to the scene quickly, the AP reported. 

The Hellas Gold company's mining site in the recession-battered Halkidiki region is slated to begin production in 2015, but many are opposed to the development project, worried it will cause environmental damage to the pristine landscape, BBC News reported

The region has a long history of mining, however, and it is estimated that Hellas would "generate approximately 5,000 direct and indirect jobs in Greece," according to Eduardo Moura, the head of Canadian mining company Eldorado Gold, which owns 95 percent of Hellas, according to BBC and AP. 

Eldorado did not immediately comment on the incident. 

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/130217/greece-hellas-gold-mine-raided-masked-intruders