Shots fired at German ambassador residence in Athens

ATHENS (AFP) - Unknown attackers fired shots at the German ambassador's residence in northern Athens early on Monday but caused no injuries, police sources said.

The attack happened around 3:30 am (9:30 am Singapore time) and the assailants are thought to have fled by motorbike.

Police have recovered around 60 spent casings from the residence's courtyard.

They said the bullets were fired from one or more Kalashnikov rifles.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which is being investigated by anti-terror police.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias spoke to German ambassador Wolfgang Dold by telephone after the incident.

Attacks against diplomatic targets, banks and foreign companies are regular occurrences in Greece. They are often blamed on far-left or anarchist groups and in most cases only cause material damage.

Anti-German sentiment has been on the rise in Greece in recent years over EU paymaster Germany's perceived role in pushing for severe austerity measures in return for the country's 240-billion euro (S$418 billion) bailout.

The German ambassador's residence in the Athens suburb of Halandri was also the target of a rocket attack in 1999, in an incident claimed by the extremist left-wing November 17 group, which has since been dismantled.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.