Source AP ©

Greek police seal off mountain village after drug-smuggler attack

Greek police armed to the teeth entrapped mountain village on the island of Crete after suspected drug smugglers ambuscaded police leaving three officers wounded.

Special police units searched house-to-house in the village of 1,600 inhabitants as snipers took up positions on the hills above and helicopters flew overhead.

Greek Police Chief Anastasios Dimoshakis traveled to Crete to coordinate the effort on the island, where gun ownership is widespread and police for decades have battled blood feuds as well as drug- and arms-smuggling by criminal gangs based in close-knit communities.

On Monday, about 20 gunmen wielding assault rifles had opened fire on the police convoy, wounding the three officers, one critically.

Dimoshakis on Tuesday called the incident unprecedented. "Greek police will assume their responsibilities. We have to ensure legitimacy," he said.

The raids follow the arrest last Friday of a 24-year-old in the Cretan town of Rethymno in possession of hashish and cocaine. His cousin, a suspected accomplice, escaped. The cousin's home in Zoniana is believed to have been the target of Monday's police raid.

Authorities have come under pointed criticism for allowing a climate of lawlessness to persist in parts of Crete, one of the country's busiest tourist spots.

Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos on Tuesday said the strong police intervention was to stop drug gangs operating on the island and not out of revenge for the police attack.

"The police are not waging a war with anyone and have no open accounts with anyone," he said.

Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said years of governmental inaction had allowed a climate of lawlessness in parts of Crete.

"There has been a lack of intervention by state and police authorities for years, (but) that is their responsibility," he said.

Comments
Russian air defences ready to shoot down NATO drones and reconnaissance aircraft over Crimea
Just Words on Scraps of Paper
Just Words on Scraps of Paper
SWIFT refuses to cut Russia off, even if Washington insists
Russian air defences ready to shoot down NATO drones and reconnaissance aircraft over Crimea
Russia introduces new money for the first time in eight years
Russians massively break traffic rules on Crimea Bridge
Russian air defences ready to shoot down NATO drones and reconnaissance aircraft over Crimea
The Royal Wedding and the Silly Season
Russian air defences ready to shoot down NATO drones and reconnaissance aircraft over Crimea
Kremlin on failed nuclear missile tests: 'Listen to President Putin and believe him!'
Russian air defences ready to shoot down NATO drones and reconnaissance aircraft over Crimea
Science Has Once Again Declared: ‘We Were Created’
Russian air defences ready to shoot down NATO drones and reconnaissance aircraft over Crimea
Iran's next moves on nuclear deal much more important - Kremlin
Venezuela may expect another Panama scenario from 1989
Venezuela may expect another Panama scenario from 1989
Venezuela may expect another Panama scenario from 1989
Venezuela may expect another Panama scenario from 1989
Venezuela may expect another Panama scenario from 1989
Iran's next moves on nuclear deal much more important - Kremlin