At least three shot dead at Cyprus tourist resort

Businessman 'targeted' in Ayia Napa restaurant

Updated: 
At least three shot dead at Cyprus tourist resort

At least three people have been killed in a shootout in the tourist area of Ayia Napa in Cyprus.

A terror motive appears to have been ruled out, and it is believed the incident could be related to gangland crime.

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Some reports suggest that three people were killed in the incident, but local reports say it was four.

The Cyprus Mail report that businessman Phanos Kalopsidiotis, 51, a police officer and his wife, and a foreign national, were killed during the shootout on Thursday night in an Ayia Napa restaurant.

Kalopsidiotis along with four other people, officer Elias Hadjiefthimiou, 46, his wife Skevi, 39, and their two children, were having dinner when two or three gunmen stormed the restaurant at around 10pm and opened fire.

Three of Kalopsidiotis' bodyguards were eating at an adjacent table.

The shooters killed Kalopsidiotis and the couple, before one of them, a 41-year-old Albanian, was shot dead. The couple's children, 13 and 14, escaped without injury.

News.com.au reports that back four years to the day, back on 23 June 2012, five security guards were shot dead in Ayia Napa in what was believed to have been a contract killing.

The Cyprus Mail suggests that the two incidents are linked. Four of the victims killed in 2012 were working for Kalopsidiotis, whom Famagusta police believed was the real target.

The paper adds that on 20 June 2014, Kalopsidiotis' father, Ioannis Theophanous, was shot dead outside his home in Paralimni.

According to Reuters, serious crime in Cyprus is rare, and the country attracts more than two million tourists each year.