Police in Rethymnon, Crete, were yesterday bracing for a possible outbreak of interethnic tension following the fatal stabbing of an Albanian youth by a group of Greeks on New Year's Day. The 17-year-old Albanian died in hospital after being knifed 17 times by a group of seven Greeks, led by an 18-year-old army conscript and his 40-year-old father, police said. The conscript was charged with murder and the other six with complicity. The seven are alleged to have attacked the youth after breaking into his home in the port's old town shortly after an altercation between some Greeks and Albanians outside a bar early on Sunday. Officers were on standby yesterday after around 200 Albanians staged a protest before accompanying the victim's coffin to a ferry waiting to take him to Tirana for burial. By late yesterday, there were no reports of any violence. It was unclear what triggered the clash that led to the boy's death but police said it was probably past differences.