Business, Economics and Jobs

Microsoft HQ in Athens attacked by gunmen


A security officer stands by the mini-van used by attackers at entrance to the Microsoft office in an Athens northern suburb on June 27, 2012.



Armed men have rammed a van packed with gas canisters into the Greek headquarters of US corporation Microsoft in Athens, setting it alight but causing no injuries.

According to the Associated Press, the attackers drove the stolen van right through Microsoft’s front door before dawn on Wednesday. The vehicle was completely destroyed and the building’s floor badly damaged.

Three inflammable gas canisters and five cans of gasoline were inside the van, Reuters reported, while police told the news agency that at least two people brandishing a machine gun and pistols threatened security personnel during the attack. A third individual was also reported to have been involved.

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The damage is to be estimated to be worth around 60,000 euros ($75,000), according to The Guardian. Microsoft Hellas’ general manager, Ernst-Jan Stigter, said the firm would shut its office in Athens for the day, according to The Daily Telegraph.

According to the BBC, there has been no immediate claim of responsibility. Greece’s economic woes have given rise to a number of arson attacks in recent months, most of which have targeted banks or official buildings with small bombs or explosive devices. Police, however, said it was too early to draw any conclusions, and Greece’s anti-terrorism squad has begun an investigation into the attack.