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Car bomb blast outside Greek Central Bank building

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Car bomb blast outside Greek Central Bank building
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A car bomb has exploded outside a Greek Central Bank building in Athens, causing damage but no injuries.

The blast outside the Bank of Greece building came as the country, plunged into a debt crisis four years ago, readied its return to international bond markets today. It is also the eve of a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

An anonymous caller warned a newspaper of the attack about 45 minutes before the explosion just before 6 a.m., saying about 70 kg of explosives were involved, according to a police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but police reportedly believe leftist or anarchist groups were behind the blast.

Witnesses saw debris strewn across the street in a busy part of the capital lined with banks, shops and a mall.

Makeshift bomb and arson attacks have escalated since Greece adopted unpopular austerity measures in exchange for multibillion euro bailouts by the European Union and International Monetary Fund in 2010.

Small scale attacks against politicians, journalists and businesspeople are frequent in Greece, with its long history of political violence.

Photogallery source: INTIMENEWS (