Police in Halkidiki, northern Greece, on Thursday used tear gas to break up a demonstration against the arrest of five suspects charged with participating in last month’s arson attack on the offices and vehicles of the Hellas Gold mining company in Skouries.
The five were reportedly transferred to the nearby Ierissos village earlier on Thursday. Their arrest appears to have triggered clashes between local residents opposed to the gold mining project and riot police.
One high school pupil was hit on the head by a tear gas canister, a member of Ierissos citizens committee against Skouries gold mine told Skai TV.
Speaking to the same channel, police spokesman Christos Manouras denied allegations police had fired tear gas in the village. He said chemicals were only used to clear a roadblock preventing police from reaching the village.
The project has fueled furious protests by locals and environmental activists who say the mine will cause serious damage to an ancient forest and poison the water supply.