Two held for fatal beating

After a nationwide manhunt, two young Iraqi Kurds were arrested in Igoumenitsa yesterday on suspicion of beating a man to death in Athens earlier this week, police said. The suspects, both 21, were intercepted in the northwestern port while allegedly trying to flee the country. The men, who have Iraqi nationality, were being sought in connection with the fatal beating of 46-year-old Anastassios Bekris near Vathis Square in central Athens on Tuesday. Eyewitnesses provided descriptions of the assailants. Acting on a tip-off that the killers were attempting to leave Greece, Athens officers issued an alert around the country for suspects matching the descriptions. Police say the Kurds, one of whom was released from jail last December after serving a sentence for robbery, were part of a gang which conducted thefts in the area around Vathis Square, mostly targeting other foreigners. Bekris, a local grill house owner, is believed to have learned about their activities and threatened to inform the police. This apparently prompted the murderous attack.