Anarchists hit police station in Athens

A group of about 50 suspected anarchists launched an audacious attack in central Athens yesterday when they threw firebombs at a police station in Exarchia, which led to 12 vehicles being destroyed and two buildings being damaged. Police said that given the ferocity of the attack at around 5.30 p.m., it was a surprise that nobody was injured in the raid, which followed a similar strike by anarchists a day earlier. The masked assailants apparently caught the police unprepared as they rained Molotov cocktails down on the police station on Kallidromiou Street. Guards were forced to seek refuge inside the building and then throw stun grenades to fend off the attackers, who disappeared before any arrests were made. Two police patrol cars, four undercover vehicles, a car that had been seized by authorities, a police motorcycle and four other motorbikes were completely destroyed in the attack. Another patrol car and a parked car were seriously damaged. Self-styled anarchists also attacked the riot police’s headquarters in Goudi, eastern Athens, a few hours earlier. A group of some 30 assailants threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at the guard posts outside the building at around noon. The suspects then sought refuge on the grounds of the halls of residence at the National Technical University of Athens in Zografou. No arrests were made. Police sources told Kathimerini that yesterday and Wednesday’s attacks came at a time when a large number of riot police had been sent to various parts of Greece to help quell unrest at the country’s prisons. Anarchists had reportedly shouted slogans in support of the prisoners during their attack on various properties in Exarchia on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the protests at prisons wound down yesterday as inmates at the high-security Malandrino Prison in central Greece, which witnessed the first uprising on Monday, ended their action. Some 200 convicts spent a third chilly night on the roof to demand better conditions at the jail and shorter sentences. However, they returned to their cells in the afternoon. Riot police had encircled the prison but stood by as authorities expected the protest to wind down due to the worsening weather and prisoners becoming hungry. The Union of Prison Guards issued a statement saying that there is a severe shortage of personnel at jails. It claimed that only half of the positions are currently filled, while the number of inmates keeps increasing.

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