October 26, 2018 / 12:16 PM / 23 days ago

Greek police say package at foreign ministry found to be harmless

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police said a suspect package which prompted the evacuation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens was found to be harmless in an apparent hoax.

Two police sources said the package sent by mail at the ministry contained long wires, while the second source said the package additionally contained batteries attached to a small box.

The semi-official Athens News Agency said it contained a pressure gauge and was addressed to Yiannis Dragasakis, the deputy prime minister of the Greek government.

The ministry of foreign affairs is in central Athens, in a building complex opposite the Greek parliament.

Small-scale attacks on businesses, state buildings, police and politicians are frequent in Greece, which has a long history of political violence.

Last year a former Greek prime minister was injured when a booby-trapped package exploded in his car.

Earlier this year, threatening letters, including one containing a bullet, were sent to Nikos Kotzias who was serving as foreign minister at the time.

Kotzias, who resigned last week, was considered an architect of an accord brokering an end to a name dispute with neighbouring Macedonia. Many Greeks are against the deal.

Reporting by George Georgiopoulos and Lefteris Papadimas Writing by Michele Kambas; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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