Explosive device at Patriarchate an armed hand-grenade, Turkish police say
ANKARA (ANA - A. Abatzis) The explosive device found in the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Fanar and neutralised by a Turkish bomb squad earlier on Saturday was an armed hand-grenade, Turkish police reported.
According to an ANA correspondent in Ankara, the unexploded grenade was spotted on the roof of St. George's Church within the Patriarchate grounds by a crew of window-cleaners.
Turkish police said the grenade may have been thrown any time in the past month but went unnoticed because it did not explode.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate has been the target of similar attacks several times in the past, with grenades lobbed from the area behind the grounds and always landing near the same spot on the roof of the church. Past attacks have been accompanied by explosions.
Commenting from Athens, Greek foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos unequivocally condemned the incident and said that Greek diplomatic and consular authorities in Ankara and Istanbul had already conveyed their deep concern over the incident to Turkish authorities and asked for stronger security measures around the Ecumenical Patriarchate.