By Andria Kades
The Cypriot embassy in Athens has been severely damaged after a bomb exploded outside the offices of a Greek business federation early on Tuesday morning.
At around 3:30am the explosion was heard, wrecking the all six floors of the building the embassy is housed in, Ambassador Kyriakos Kenevezos said.
“Our embassy absorbed all the force from the blast which broke all the glasses of the building’s exterior and causing incalculable damage to the interior from the ground floor all the way to the sixth floor,” he was quoted as saying by the Cyprus News Agency.
The embassy is a few metres away from where the blast went off in central Athens, close to parliament in Syntagma Square.
Arriving at the scene, Kenevezos said that had the bomb exploded during working hours then there would have certainly been deaths.
All morning, counter terrorism officials were at the scene. The embassy was closed and a two block area around the building was closed off.
Greek police believe the explosion was carried out by domestic guerrilla groups.
Half an hour before an explosion at least one media outlet received a warning there would be a bomb.
Police said they had no evidence to indicate the Cypriot embassy was a target.
Speaking to state radio, foreign ministry permanent secretary Alexandros Zinon said no embassy staff were injured or present during the explosion.
Although the embassy does not have a 24-hour guard on site, there are other security measures in place that may not necessarily be visible, he added.
The extent of the damage is currently being evaluated.
According to reports, an event expected to take place at the embassy on Wednesday will instead be held at the Greek foreign ministry at the same scheduled time.
Four other buildings were damaged, with glass from smashed windows strewn across the streets.
“I heard it, it made me dizzy because it was so loud,” said Kostas Papalogizopoulos, who was working the night shift at a kiosk across the street.