ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A drive-by shooting killed two members of Greece’s Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn party and wounded one outside a party office in Athens on Friday night, officials said.
The two fatalities, both in their 20s, were shot at close range from a motorcycle carrying two men, Golden Dawn lawmaker Georgios Germenis told The Associated Press.
“A man got off a motorcycle wearing a helmet and shot them,” he said, adding that the attack was captured on a security camera at the party office in the Athens’ Neo Iraklio suburb.
Police said no arrests were made but that the counterterrorism squad is taking part in the investigation.
Golden Dawn lawmaker Ilias Kassidiaris blamed the shooting on “terrorists” and said on private Star TV that it appeared to be a well-planned attack.
The shooting occurred amid a government crackdown on the far-right party following the Sept. 17 fatal stabbing of an anti-fascist musician in Athens. A Golden Party supporter has been arrested and charged with murder. Golden Dawn’s leader and two party lawmakers have been jailed pending trial on charges of forming a criminal group. The party has denied any wrongdoing.
The Golden Dawn, which rose from obscurity during Greece’s financial crisis, is now the nation’s third most popular political party.
Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias expressed “distress” at the fatal shooting of the two young men Friday. “We will not allow the country to become a ground for the settling of accounts, for whatever reason,” he said.
Germenis said the violence occurred right after police stopped protecting the office where the attack occurred.
“The government stripped us naked so that we can be killed,” he told the AP. “We had received threats at that office, and we informed the local police station. They had plainclothes police outside the office every day until today.”
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.