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Friday 18 April 2014

Two Golden Dawn members shot dead

Two members of Greece's Golden Dawn party have been shot dead

A drive-by shooting has left two members of Greece's Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn party dead and wounded one outside a party office in Athens.

The two fatalities, both in their 20s, were shot at close range from a motorcycle carrying two men, Golden Dawn politician Georgios Germenis said.

"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 counter-terrorism squad is taking part in the investigation.

Golden Dawn politician 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 fatal stabbing on September 17 of an anti-fascist musician in Athens.

Golden Dawn's leader and two party members 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.

"We will not allow the country to become a ground for the settling of accounts, for whatever reason," he said.

Mr 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 said. "We had received threats at that office, and we informed the local police station. They had plain-clothes police outside the office every day until today."

Press Association

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