Ηooded gunmen shot and killed Antonios Nektarios Savvas, a 41-year-old police counter-terrorism officer, in central Athens at dawn on Wednesday.
Savvas was murdered as he sat inside an unmarked police vehicle parked outside the apartment of a witness in an ongoing urban terrorism trial, a woman who had been in a witness protection programme since 2002.
The three gunmen, later identified with the group Revolutionaries Sects, riddled the police officer with bullets at 6:20 a.m. in the densely populated Athens district of Ano Patissia.
They fled the scene on foot and escaped aboard two high-powered motorcycles, along with an accomplice.
During a press conference at police headquarters in the early afternoon, a spokesman said the same group had been blamed for an attack on a Piraeus-area (Korydallos) police precinct in February 2009 and on a television station (Alter) the same month.
According to later reports, at least 24 cartridges, 9mm diameter, were collected from the scene.
Police spokesman Panagiotis Stathis said that ballistics tests carried out on the cartridges showed that two guns had been involved, with nine cartridges fired from a weapon also used in previous hits attributed to ‘Revolutionary Sect’.
The officer suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his left side, including a wound to the head, from very close range.
He died instantly. Savvas’ service revolver was still in his belt, police said.