Local authorities on Wednesday were ringing the alarm bells after a violent incident at a high school in the impoverished northwestern Athens suburb of Menidi on Monday was described as a turf war between rival juvenile gangs.
According to reports, five hooded teenagers aged 15 and 16 years old tried to barge into a local high school classroom armed with brass knuckles and metal poles, apparently intent on attacking certain students inside the facility.
The school’s principal saw the gang coming and prevented the boys from entering by locking the doors and calling the police.
“They were from a different school and had differences with certain students,” the head of the committee for secondary education at Acharnon Municipality, Georgia Efthymiadou, told Antenna TV on Wednesday morning, saying the incident was a clash between “rival groups.”
The municipal authority’s deputy mayor for education, Efstathios Topalidis, added that such incidents “are typical of Menidi,” which is one of the poorest districts in the broader metropolitan area and notorious for gang activity.
Topalidis mentioned other instances of violence that have alarmed local authorities, such as the recent kidnapping of a pupil from his school and reports of gunshots being exchanged between students, but did not elaborate further.
In June, law enforcement authorities vowed to crack down on crime in Menidi after an 11-year-old boy was killed by a stray bullet during a party in his school’s courtyard.