Athens, May 26 (AFP) Greek police scrambled today to determine how a letter bomb wounded former PM Lucas Papademos despite security checks being beefed up after a wave of similar attacks in March.Also Read - Omicron Response: List of Countries That Have Put Travel Restrictions To African Nations

“We want to determine whether security procedures were followed,” a police source told AFP, hours after Papademos and two guards were injured by the bomb that exploded as they rode in an armoured car in Athens. Also Read - Omicron Variant Detected In Germany, Mutations Found In Passenger From South Africa

“The fact that the attackers managed to get past security is worrying,” the source said, adding that experts were trying to determine the nature of explosive used. Also Read - Complete Lockdown In Germany On Cards? Merkel Admin Mulls To Impose Tougher Curbs As Covid Cases Rise

Papademos sustained superficial injuries to the chest, abdomen and legs, Evangelismos Hospital in Athens said, after he apparently opened his mail whilst riding in the car.

The 69-year-old economist was in stable condition but is expected to remain in intensive care for at least two days, doctors said.

A later statement from Evangelismos Hospital said the former PM had undergone surgery to address a thigh injury.

One of his guards has trouble hearing, the hospital said.

The police source said the attack was “largely symbolic” as Papademos was lightly hurt despite his proximity to the letter bomb.

Calls have already gone out to individuals who could be potential targets to boost security, and to the Greek postal service to step up searches for other similar devices.

As a former PM, Papademos has round-the-clock police protection and his mail is screened by special machinery at the Bank of Greece and parliament.

Leaders of all parties and former prime ministers condemned the attack, the first against an incumbent or former leader in decades.

The methodology is similar to that used by Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, a domestic far-left group which in March mailed a letter bomb that injured a secretary at the International Monetary Fund in Paris.

The group had earlier claimed responsibility for an explosive device, also sent from Greece, discovered by the police at the offices of German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.

The bombs contained gunpowder used in firecrackers, police said.

The police source acknowledged that Thursday’s attack on Papademos was “similar” to those in March, but authorities do not want to rule out other possibilities.

Papademos’ name was on a target list compiled by Paula Roupa, a senior member of far-left group Revolutionary Struggle jailed in January.

So far there has been no claim of responsibility.

If Conspiracy does confirm the attack, “it would be a problem,” the police source said.

“It would show that they have done their homework and are able to bypass security procedures,” the source added.

In 2011, several Conspiracy members, many of whom were very young, were convicted of “participating in a criminal organisation” and given long prison sentences. (AFP) AJR

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.