Police sweep underway in downtown Athens after Thursday’s fatal shooting

Police sweep underway in downtown Athens after Thursday’s fatal shooting

A police operation was underway in downtown Athens on Friday, a day after one man was killed and another injured in what authorities believe is a turf war between competing criminal gangs of foreign nationals.

State broadcaster ERT showed officers speaking to numerous people in Menandrou Street, in the same area where the fatal shooting took place on Thursday.

A journalist said officers were asking foreign nationals to produce legal documents identifying them.

On Thursday, thirteen people were detained in a police operation after a 23-year-old Afghan national was shot dead and a 25-year-old fellow national was seriously injured with a knife in the clash.

Eye-witnesses said they saw about 30 people armed with guns and knives attacking a group of men selling contraband cigarettes on the corner of Menandrou and Sapfous Streets.

They also said they demanded money from the Afghans to allow them to sell their loot in that street corner.

Officers who were called at the scene found the two victims lying in the street, covered in blood.

According to police sources, Thursday’s killings are another incident in a gang war to control drug trafficking, smuggling and the trade of forged documents in the center of the capital. Sources also told Kathimerini the attackers were Pakistani nationals.

A similar incident took place in the same area in January 2019, when an Afghan and Pakistani nationals clashed, leaving one dead.

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