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Greece: 3 wounded, 2 taken hostage after shooting

Greece: 3 wounded, 2 taken hostage after shooting

March 1st, 2012 in News

KOMOTINI, Greece (AP) - An unemployed man shot and wounded three people and took two others hostage Thursday at a plastics factory in northern Greece, police said. State TV said police special forces were drawing up plans to storm the factory, but authorities have not confirmed that report.

The incident occurred in the northern town of Komotini, 500 miles northeast of Athens, at a factory that makes trash bins and other plastic products. The shooter, identified by his former employer as 52-year-old Dimitrios Manikas, was fired from the factory six months ago.

Police said Manikas burst into the site Thursday with a shotgun, firing at the chairman of the company and a Bulgarian employee, who were both hospitalized with gunshot wounds not considered to be life threatening. A police officer also has been shot and injured in the hand.

Employees at the company said that about 40 of the company's 85 employees were at the factory when the gunman burst in, at 1 p.m.

Authorities said the two men taken hostage were company drivers.

Shortly after 10 p.m., police provided Manikas with unspecified medication he takes regularly and which he had been demanding since the afternoon.

"The gunman had worked as an employee at our factory in Komotini, between July 20, 2000 and Aug. 31, 2011, when he was dismissed, after displaying an unstable, inappropriate, and delinquent behavior over a long period of time in the workplace," the plastics company, the Athens-based Helesi Corp., said in a statement.

The company said its chairman Athanasios Adrianopoulos, 51, was shot in his office and wounded in the neck, arms and elsewhere, and taken out of the building by employees, who intervened to try to stop the gunman. Employee Emil Ilen Marinov, 30, was wounded in the legs. It identified the two hostages as Theofanis Diggiaris, 51, and Dimitrios Gritzelis, 64.

Police said the gunman had demanded payment of $41,250 in money he said he was owed by the company. The company denies it owes Manikas any back pay.