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Europe

Clashes erupt in Athens on anniversary of teen shooting

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-12-06

Thousands of youths clashed with police in central Athens Monday, marking the two-year anniversary of the police killing of a 15 year-old boy. His death in 2008 sparked some of the worst riots Greece has seen in decades.

AP - Youths clashed with riot police and hurled rocks at government buildings in central Athens Monday as students marked two years since the fatal police shooting of a teenage boy that sparked Greece's worst riots in decades.

Clashes occurred in several parts of central Athens as 2,000 people marched to parliament to mark the death of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos in 2008. Protesting youths pelted police and a Finance Ministry building with rocks, oranges and flares, and smashed glass phone booths.

No injuries or arrests were reported.

The 2008 riots was the worst civil unrest Greece had seen in decades, with youths rampaging through cities almost nightly for two weeks.

The trouble also inspired a wave of violence by far-left and anarchist militant groups, reviving decades-old anti-establishment violence rooted in past political upheavals.

Police at the weekend arrested six suspected members of a militant group and seized explosives and weapons from suspected safe houses. Police ballistics tests have so far not matched any of the seized weapons to previous terrorist attacks.

“This was a decisive blow to those who have chosen violence as a way of life and want to terrorize our society,” Public Order Minister Christos Papoutsis told the Athens daily Ta Nea.

On Monday, police closed main roads to traffic around Athens and deployed several thousand officers in the capital. About 2,000 people also attended a protest rally in the country's second largest city, Thessaloniki.

In October, policeman Epaminondas Korkoneas was convicted of murder for the teenager's death, and was sentenced to life imprisonment. A second officer was jailed for 10 years.

The dead teenager's mother said she was planning to set up a foundation to assist victims of mistreatment by the authorities.

“They shot my son in cold blood. He was hit in the heart and died instantly,” Gina Tsalikian told state-run NET television in an interview to be aired later Monday.

“I wish that no other mother goes through what I have been through.”

 

Date created : 2010-12-06

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