Three hooded men armed with Kalashnikovs burst into the jewellery store of the 5 star Creta Maris hotel in Hersonissos on Friday night. After firing in the air to force guests to lie on the floor they filled two holdalls with jewellery and tried to make their escape.
Numbers of armed police surrounded the hotel within minutes of the alarm being set off.
Terrified hotel guests, which included participants of a cardiology conference, run for cover as dozens of shots were fired in the ensuing gun battle between the gunmen and the police. The three robbers were wounded and arrested. One with serious head injuries is thought to have later died at Heraklion’s University Hospital.
The police recovered the stolen jewellery, guns and a stolen car. The robbers, two local men and an Armenian citizen, are known criminals and were suspects for a series of armed robberies in Heraklion prefecture police said.