Two suspects arrested over attack on Thessaloniki mayor

Two suspects arrested over attack on Thessaloniki mayor

Two men were arrested in the northern port city of Thessaloniki on Sunday in connection with a violent attack by a nationalist mob on Mayor Yiannis Boutaris.

The men had been remanded earlier on the basis of video footage of the incident, which took place in front of the northern port’s emblematic White Tower during a commemoration of the World War I genocide of the Pontic Greeks.

Police said the suspects are one Greek man aged 20 and a 36-year-old ethnic Greek from Georgia who has a prior criminal record in this country.

The 75-year-old Boutaris was set upon by about a dozen people demanding that he leave the event. He was then pushed to the ground and kicked several times in the head, back and legs.

He was rushed to Thessaloniki’s Ippokrateio Hospital, where doctors on Sunday gave him the all clear. Boutaris described the incident as a “nightmare.”

Supporters of Boutaris plan to stage a rally Wednesday night at the site of the attack, next to the city’s iconic White Tower, a 16th-century remnant of Turkish fortifications.

“All of us who believe in democracy and debate, let us gather in the White Tower,” they said in a statement.

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