Greek anarchists claim arson attack against Italian diplomat in Athens

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ATHENS, Dec 8 (Reuters) – A Greek anarchist group claimed responsibility on Thursday for an arson attack on cars at a senior Italian diplomat’s home in Athens this month, saying it was in solidarity with a jailed anarchist in Italy.

At least one car was destroyed and another one was damaged during the attack at the home of Italian deputy ambassador Susanna Schlein in the early hours of Dec. 2.

The anarchist group Cell of Revenge “Carlo Giuliani” said it staged the attack over Alfredo Cospito, a 55-year-old Italian anarchist convicted for a non-fatal shooting against a nuclear energy manager last year and a 2016 bomb attack.

Cospito is jailed under a strict isolation regime, known in Italy as 41 bis, and normally reserved for Mafia members.

“We decided to send our own signal of solidarity to the comrade and his struggle against the 41 bis,” the group said in a statement on an anarchist website often used by groups to claim responsibility for attacks.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni had expressed her “deep concern” and sympathy to Schlein, sister of a prominent Italian politician.

Greek and Italian foreign ministries had also condemned the attack staged days before the 14th anniversary of the police killing of a student in Athens that led to Greece’s worst riots in decades.

Greece has a decades-old history of political violence and more anarchist groups have emerged since the police shooting of Alexis Grigoropoulos in 2008, just before its debt crisis began.

Reporting by Renee Maltezou in Athens and Alvise Armellini in Rome; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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