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Microsoft's offices gutted in Athens arson attack

When the Greeks flame someone ...

Microsoft's Greek headguarters in Athens have been attacked by arsonists, who caused serious damage but didn't injure anyone.

The software giant said that the assailants drove a van up to the entrance of the building in the early hours of this morning and made the security guards keep away while they set fire to the vehicle.

"Our priority is our people and we are grateful that no one was injured and that all employees are safe," a Microsoft spokesperson told The Register in an emailed statement. "We are awaiting the completion of the police investigation in order to acquire a fuller view of the situation."

The van held camping gas canisters and several containers of petrol and caused significant damage to the ground floor of the building, police said.

Greece has been the scene of a number of arson attacks in recent times as austerity measures imposed on the country as a result of the economic crisis bite, unemployment soars and recession deepens.

The attacks usually target official buildings or banks and rarely cause any injuries.

There were three attackers involved in the Microsoft arson, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported authorities as saying, driving a stolen van. The investigation into the incident is being handled by the anti-terrorism squad EKAM.

The fire brigade estimates the damage to the building at around €60,000 (£48,000, $75,000), Reuters reported. ®

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