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07 April, 2001
A closed van believed to have been used by terrorist group "November 17" assassins in the killing of a British diplomat last year was being examined by Scotland Yard in Britain, police sources said Thursday, confirming a report appearing in Thursday's issue of TO ETHNOS Athens daily.
According to the report, the van was found shortly after the June 8, 2000 shooting death of British embassy defense attache Brig. Stephen Saunders by two gunmen on a motorcycle as he was driving alone on central Kifissias Ave. from his home in the Nea Erythrea Athens suburb to the British embassy in downtown Athens. The notorious "November 17" terrorist organization claimed the attack in a proclamation sent to an Athens daily.
It said the Mitsubishi van was found abandoned behind Hygeia Hospital -- located across the thoroughfare from the site of the killing -- about one kilometer from the site.
The van was transferred to London where it was being examined by electronic precision equipment that only Scotland Yard has, the report said.
British authorities declined comment on the fact that the finding of the van had not been made public, referring questions to the Greek police, which in turn also declined comment, signaling a new attitude towards publicity on terrorist investigations, the newspaper said.
Police sources, on condition of anonymity, said the van had been stolen from the Vyronas residential district of Athens and bore license plates stolen from a similar vehicle from the Kallithea residential district.
Source: Athens News Agency