The Greek far-right party facing a police crackdown says two of its members have been shot dead outside its office by a gunman on a motorcycle. Parliamentarians described the killings as a “blow to democracy.”
“A man got off a motorcycle wearing a helmet and shot them,” said Golden Dawn lawmaker Georgios Germenis. He accused police of leaving the headquarters “naked” and open to attack by removing plainclothes officers on the previous day.
A third man, aged 29, was taken to hospital with severe gunshot wounds.
Greek Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias in the government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said he would not allow Greece to become “anyone’s battlefield for settling scores.”
The left-wing main opposition Syriza said the shooting “targets democracy” in Greece.
The attack in Athens coincides with a government crackdown on Golden Dawn that began after the fatal stabbing of an anti-facist rapper musician in Athens on September 17.
A party supporter faces a murder charge. The party’s leader and two other lawmakers were jailed pending trial on charges of forming a criminal group.
Golden Dawn rose from obscurity during an anti-immigrant campaign to secure 18 seats in parliament, making it Greece’s third-placed party.
ipj/hc (AP, AFP, Reuters)