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Greek journalist shot dead in Athens

Video by Catherine VIETTE

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-07-20

Three unknown assailants shot and killed a reporter in Athens on Monday, the first murder of a journalist in Greece in more than 20 years. Police suspect a domestic terrorist organisation may be responsible.

AP - A Greek journalist was gunned down Monday outside his home in Athens, in an attack police say is linked to a domestic terrorist group.

Sokratis Giolias, 37, died after being shot more than 15 times before dawn in the capital's eastern neighborhood of Ilioupoli. Police said bullet casings at the scene matched two 9-millimeter handguns used by the Greek terrorist group Sect of Revolutionaries.

Sect of Revolutionaries emerged followed Greece's widespread rioting in December

"The bullets found come from the firearms of a far-left extremist group"

2008, sparked by the police's fatal shooting of a teenage boy. The group has vowed to carry out attacks against police and the news media, which it accuses of helping corrupt business interests mislead public opinion.

The group also attacked a TV station in Athens in February 2009. Giolias headed private Athens radio station Thema FM and wrote on a popular online news blog, Troktiko, which often deals with scandals.

The blog said two or three gunmen were believed to have shot Giolias, who was married with a young child. Police said they also believe more than one gunman was involved.

A car reported stolen was found burned out near the scene of the shooting, said police, who are investigating whether it was linked to the attack.

Journalist groups, the government and politicians condemned the attack.

``Democracy and freedom of speech cannot be gagged, terrorize or intimidated,'' government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis said. ``The unreservedly condemns this cowardly and cold-blooded murder.''

Greek authorities have battled a wave of attacks by militant groups since the 2008 riots.

Date created : 2010-07-19