Anarchists target newspaper offices

Hundreds of suspected anarchists caused serious damage to the central offices of conservative newspaper Apogevmatini and torched several parked cars early yesterday afternoon after breaking off from a rally protesting a hand grenade attack on a left-wing human rights group and immigrant support network in Exarchia on Tuesday night. About 1,000 people participated in the protest rally which began in Exarchia in the early afternoon and culminated with a peaceful march to Parliament. At about 7.30 p.m. a crowd of anarchists, numbering some 300 according to police, converged around the entrance to Apogevmatini’s offices on Feidiou Street, a parallel road to Panepistimiou Street, where they used sledgehammers, iron bars, sticks and stones to smash up the facade and torch several parked cars. There were no reports of injuries. Police fired tear gas and threw stun grenades to disperse the vandals. But they returned later, using sticks and rocks to attack a riot police unit stationed at the junction of Harilaou Trikoupi and Didotou streets, near opposition PASOK’s offices, and vandalizing the building housing the Council of State on Stadiou Street. Ruling New Democracy issued a statement condemning the attack on Apogevmatini’s offices. «The hooded assailants involved in this attack once again targeted the freedom of the press and the free exchange of ideas,» the statement said, adding that it condemned all «mindless violence and destructive rage.» Members of leftist and anarchist groups on Wednesday participated in a debate about the hand grenade attack against the premises of the Network for Political and Social Rights, which has the same address as the so-called Immigrants Hangout. The leftist network called the attack «a fascist para-state murder attempt» but police said the hit could have been carried out by rival anarchists or leftists.

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