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Greek far-left militant skips out on prison leave

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

A far-left militant belonging to Greece's deadliest extremist group has disappeared whilst on prison leave, police said on Tuesday.

Christodoulos Xiros, 56, was serving multiple life sentences for his role as a leading hitman for the November 17 group, which was broken up in 2002.

He failed to report to a police station in Halkidiki, northern Greece whilst on a nine-day New Year's break, police said. He left jail on January 1st and was due to return on Thursday.

Xiros' lawyer Frangiskos Ragousis said the act was "consistent" with his client's political beliefs.

"This is a civil prison break... consistent with (Xiros') views on freedom," Ragousis told Skai channel, adding that he had not been in contact with his client.

Xiros' younger brother Savvas, who was badly injured in an attempted attack that proved November 17's undoing, is still in prison along with the group's other leaders.

November 17 was named after a student uprising against Greece's US-backed military junta in 1973.

It carried out a series of assassinations of prominent Greek and foreign targets between 1975 and 2000.

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