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Shots fired at Israeli embassy

Gunmen have fired dozens of bullets at the Israeli embassy in Athens in a pre-dawn drive-by attack on one of the Greek capital's best-guarded buildings.

Police said 54 bullet casings from an AK47 assault rifle - a weapon favoured by Greek anarchist militant groups - were recovered outside the embassy, on a busy road junction that was closed to traffic for hours.

Nobody claimed the attack, which occurred long before the building opened for business. No one was injured.

Officials in Athens condemned the shooting, stressing it would not affect the country's close ties with Israel.

"The Greek government is fully determined to ensure the protection of all diplomatic missions in Greece," a Foreign Ministry statement said. "Of course, particularly strong security and protection measures are in force at the Israeli embassy."

Police said the attackers were riding on at least one motorcycle, and escaped after the attack, leaving the building pock-marked with bullet holes.

A year ago, a small left-wing terrorist group called Popular Fighters claimed a similar gun attack outside the German ambassador's residence in Athens, which also caused no injury.

Police said ballistic tests showed the weapons used in the attack were the ones employed in the incident at the German ambassador's residence.

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