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Man arrested over Ayia Napa shooting (Updated)

The scene of the shooting in Ayia Napa

A 38-year-old man was arrested in Larnaca on Monday in connection with Sunday’s gangland shooting in Ayia Napa which left four injured.

Police said the arrest came after testimony connected the man with the crime. No other details were immediately available.

Reports said the man, a Greek Cypriot, is known to the police. He is expected to be taken in court on Tuesday for a remand.

A hooded man ran up to the cafe-bar Liquid on the busy Kryou Nerou street in Ayia Napa at 1:40am on Sunday and unloaded a hail of bullets at people inside, CCTV footage showed.

His target was well-known businessman Costas Kritikos who had left the cafe about 15 minutes before, raising questions as to whether the shooting was a botched job or scare tactic and warning.

In a matter of seconds, the shooter fired 25 bullets from a Kalashnikov rifle, injuring a woman aged 26 and three men, two aged 38 and one 32. They have no relation to the target but were sitting at the next table.

The attacker then swiftly fled.

Those injured are three Greek Cypriots and a Greek national, Police spokesman Christos Andreou confirmed to the Cyprus Mail on Monday.

They are out of danger, but the woman had to undergo surgery at Nicosia general hospital.

The woman’s sister told Alpha TV Greece that she took two bullets, to the body and legs, and that she is better but still in the intensive care unit.

She said one of her friends pushed her sister to the floor and this probably spared her from receiving a bullet to the head.

The reactions from those in the immediate area of the cafe have ranged from anger to dismay.

“People are terrified. How many times in [Ayia] Napa?” a woman who was working nearby told the Cyprus Mail on Monday. “It’s over the top, this shouldn’t be like Texas.”

A bar owner in the area echoed the sentiment, saying “people do feel very unsafe, if this can happen in Cyprus then what does it mean?”

Asked whether he was surprised, “incidents have happened in the past, but it is shocking,” he said.

“It’s not at all surprising, let’s just pray the police do their job,” said a cafe worker.

A Kalashnikov gun found early Sunday morning in the parking lot of the SeaLife museum 100m away from the cafe was later confirmed by the police to have been the gun used during the shooting.

In addition to taking shells from the scene, police have spoken to numerous people including the family of the target, who worked in the nightlife scene in Ayia Napa.

“It is difficult for us to talk further on this so as not to jeopardise the investigation,” Andreou said on Monday.

Ayia Napa has been the hotspot for gangland shootings despite Cyprus’ low rate of gun crime

In 2016 a police sergeant and his wife were gunned down along with an Ayia Napa businessman in a gangster like contract killing while out at a restaurant.

The pair were executed in cold blood in front of their 13- and 14-year-old children when two gunmen approached the table in a restaurant where they were dining with businessman Phanos Kalopsidiotis, 51, spraying the three with bullets from an automatic weapon and pistol.

According to the results of autopsies the wife died instantly from a single shot sustained to the head while her husband, a close friend of Kalopsidiotis received six to eight bullets in various parts of his body, with two considered lethal.



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