NEWS

Injuries and arrests reported as violence mars Grigoropoulos anniversary rallies

TAGS: Protest, Crime

Two riot officers and at least one demonstrator were injured in overnight clashes self-styled anarchists in downtown Athens in the early hours of Friday.

Violence that had started brewing during marches on Thursday commemorating the killing of teenager Alexis Grigoropoulos escalated out of control later in the day, after demonstrators gathered at the spot in the downtown neighborhood of Exarchia where the 15-year-old was shot by a police officer on December 6, 2010.

Self-styled anarchists had barricaded themselves inside the campus of the historic Athens Polytechnic, from which they launched a volley of attacks on riot squads dispatched to the area, pelting officers with homemade firebombs and rocks. Police responded with tear gas and water cannons.

Two officers had to be hospitalized, one after suffering burns on his hand from a flare and the other for an injury to his leg, while a third man, believed to be one of the rioters, was also rushed to hospital, with some media reporting a fourth unconfirmed injury.

Authorities remanded 66 people and arrested 13 suspects over the course of the night, with reports suggesting that some of them are minors.

In the meantime, the Greek Police (ELAS) is examining a video posted on Twitter from the battleground outside Athens Polytechnic showing a riot officer hitting a handcuffed suspect in the face.

Violence also marred a rally in memory of Alexis Grigoropoulos in the northern port city of Thessaloniki on Thursday, with police making 15 arrests after protesters attacked riot officers from the grounds of the Aristotle University Department of Philosophy.

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