A bomb has exploded in a residential neighbourhood in central Athens, killing a 15—year—old Afghan boy and wounding his 45—year—old mother and 10—year—old sister, authorities said.
The bomb exploded at 10:40 p.m. local time on Sunday, police said. The boy’s sister was transported to a children’s hospital with slight burns on her the face and hands and bruising. Her mother, who was in a state of shock, was also slightly injured. She was taken to a different hospital.
“We do not know yet about the motive or the intended target. All I can tell you, from what the mother told the police, is that the victim was her 15—year—old son,” police spokesman Athanasios Kokalakis, said. He said the family is from Afghanistan.
The Civil Protection ministry later released a statement saying the boy stumbled upon a bag in a garbage bin that contained the bomb.
Police cordoned off the street and were searching the area. Television footage showed an ambulance leaving the scene of the blast. The victim’s body is still on the scene of the explosion pending the arrival of a coroner.
“The perpetrators ... consider all of us as their enemies. We will find them soon,” said Civil Protection Minister Michalis Chryssochoidis, who rushed to the scene.
The bomb exploded outside the headquarters of the Hellenic Management Association, a private not—for—profit organization, Mr. Kokalakis said, but he said it was not clear whether this was the intended target.
Radical left—wing and anarchist groups often carry out bombings in Athens, but most are on a small scale and cause no injuries.
However, some groups have been escalating attacks of late.
Last week, three bombings targeted the offices of an ultra right—wing party, a police immigration centre and a Pakistani immigrant leader’s home. The three attacks, none of which caused any injuries, were claimed by the Conspiracy Nuclei of Fire group, which said it wanted to highlight the issue of racism in Greece.
The group also claimed responsibility for a January 9 bomb outside Greece’s Parliament building, causing no injuries.