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Police catch one of Greece's top fugitives

AFP

Nikos Maziotis (R), a suspected member of the far-left extremist group Revolutionary Struggle, is pictured on October 5, 2011 outside Korydallos prison near AthensNikos Maziotis (R), a suspected member of the far-left extremist group Revolutionary Struggle, is pictured on October 5, 2011 outside Korydallos prison near Athens

Nikos Maziotis (R), a suspected member of the far-left extremist group Revolutionary Struggle, is pictured on October 5, 2011 outside Korydallos prison near AthensNikos Maziotis (R), a suspected member of the far-left extremist group Revolutionary Struggle, is pictured on October 5, 2011 outside Korydallos prison near Athens

Greek police on Wednesday said they had captured far-left extremist Nikos Maziotis -- one of the country's top fugitives -- in central Athens.

"Nikos Maziotis has been arrested," a police source said, adding that a police officer had been injured in a shootout near the tourist Monastiraki district.

Maziotis and his companion Panagiota Roupa -- both leading members of defunct militant outfit Revolutionary Struggle -- had been conditionally released from prison in 2012 and subsequently disappeared.

Revolutionary Struggle, which first emerged in 2003, was once deemed by authorities to be the country's most dangerous far-left organisation and is on European Union and US lists of terrorist groups.

The United States put a bounty on the group after it fired a rocket at the US embassy in Athens in 2007 without injuring anyone. Other strikes include a bomb attack on the Athens Stock Exchange and several banks, and attempted assassination attempts against police and a former police minister.

Greece has seen a resurgence in extremist activity at a time when the country is struggling to emerge from a crippling six-year recession.

In December, unknown attackers fired automatic rifle shots at the German ambassador's residence in Athens without causing any injuries.

A month earlier, two members of neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn were fatally shot outside an Athens district office, and another was seriously injured.

In January, a prominent member of Greece's deadliest extremist group "November 17", Christodoulos Xiros, disappeared while on prison leave. He remains at large.

Date created : 2014-07-16