A car rigged with powerful explosives blew up at about 6am on Thursday morning, on Amerikis Street, between Stadiou and Panepistimiou, in downtown Athens. The car itself was completely destroyed in the explosion and extensive damages were caused to surrounding buildings, however no injuries have been reported.

The city center had been cordoned off since about 5:10am, after two warning phone calls were made to the Zougla website and the Efimerida ton Syntakton newspaper at 5:10 and 5:15 respectively. The caller claimed that a parked car on Amerikis Street rigged with 75 kilos of explosives would explode in 45 minutes. The police officers arriving on the scene located the car, a Nissan Sunny. The Bank of Greece and troika offices in Athens are reportedly nearby.

The police’s bomb squad is on location, while counter-terrorism officers are scouring CCTV footage leading up to the explosion. A witness report has suggested that a person parked the car and then quickly left with an accomplice on a motorcycle. The car appears to have been stolen on the 6th of April.

The coalition government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou commented that «the intentions are obvious, however the government will not allow the terrorists to get their way«. With German Chancellor Angela Merkel expected in Athens on Friday, securing has heightened.

A similar attack was carried out in September 2009, when a van loaded with explosives that had been parked outside the Athens Stock exchange market and exploded.