The last of the communist guerrillas still holding out from the time of the Greek civil war, emerged from hiding in the mountains of Crete this week to take advantage of a Greek Government amnesty.
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Background: The last of the communist guerrillas still holding out from the time of the Greek civil war, emerged from hiding in the mountains of Crete this week to take advantage of a Greek Government amnesty.
George Tsombanakis, aged 55, and Spyros Blazakis, aged 59, have been dubbed the Eagles of Crete. They first disappeared into the mountains in 1942 to fight the Nazis, and stayed there to fight for the communists during the Greek civil war from 1944-49.
The authorities hunted them for alleged crimes. Other members of their communist guerrilla group, originally numbering 28, were killed, died of disease or fled abroad. Mr. Blazakis was wounded five times during his years as a guerrilla. But nevertheless, he and Mr. Tsombanakis refused three previous amnesties from the government.
On Monday (24 February), 33 years after they first took to the mountains, each received a hero's welcome from friends and supporters in Athens before flying off to stay in Moscow at the invitation of the Soviet government.