New protests in Greece on anniversary of teen's shooting

Published 12-06-2018

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) - New protest marches were underway in Greece Thursday evening on the 10th anniversary of the fatal police shooting of a teenager, hours after violent initial demonstrations where masked youths attacked police with firebombs and stones.

Police said about 1,700 people were marching in Athens and the protest was so far peaceful. But other youths set fire to trash in the streets and set up barricades in the capital's central Exarchia district - where Alexis Grigoropoulos was shot dead on Dec. 6, 2008, and which anarchists have adopted as a stronghold.

In the earlier protest in Athens, police fired tear gas at hooded youths who threw rocks and other objects at riot police and smashed bus stops. At least 28 people were detained. About 700 people took part in the march.

In the northern city of Thessaloniki, protesters set up barricades in the streets and hurled Molotov cocktails at police, who responded with stun grenades and tear gas. The running clashes started during a midday march and continued through the afternoon, with vandals setting fires at a subway construction site.

There was a lull in the violence during a peaceful evening protest in the northern city, but riots continued in the center afterward.

Grigoropoulos was 15 when he was shot dead during a night out with friends in Exarchia, where many popular bars and restaurants are located. He was killed when a policeman fired his gun following an altercation. The policeman later said he had not aimed for the boy but that the teen had been killed by a ricochet.

The teenager's death sparked the most extensive riots Greece had seen in decades. The two-week outburst of violence spread to cities across the country as youths smashed and looted stores, burned buildings and cars and set up flaming barricades in the streets.

The policeman, Epaminondas Korkoneas, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. His appeals trial is ongoing. The second policeman present was sentenced to 10 years in prison and was granted conditional release several years ago.

In Athens, authorities deployed about 2,500 police and a helicopter Thursday for the marches and rallies, while the main subway station at the central Syntagma Square was temporarily shut down.

Annual marches marking the anniversary of Grigoropoulos' death often turn violent.

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Kantouris reported from Thessaloniki, Greece. Nicholas Paphitis in Athens contributed.

The teenager's death sparked the most extensive riots Greece had seen in decades. The two-week outburst of violence spread to cities across the country as youths smashed and looted stores, burned buildings and cars and set up flaming barricades in the streets.

The policeman, Epaminondas Korkoneas, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. His appeals trial is ongoing. The second policeman present was sentenced to 10 years in prison and was granted conditional release several years ago.

In Athens, authorities deployed about 2,500 police and a helicopter Thursday for the marches and rallies, while the main subway station at the central Syntagma Square was temporarily shut down.

Annual marches marking the anniversary of Grigoropoulos' death often turn violent.

____

Kantouris reported from Thessaloniki, Greece. Nicholas Paphitis in Athens contributed.

In Athens, authorities deployed about 2,500 police and a helicopter Thursday for the marches and rallies, while the main subway station at the central Syntagma Square was temporarily shut down.

Annual marches marking the anniversary of Grigoropoulos' death often turn violent.

____

Kantouris reported from Thessaloniki, Greece. Nicholas Paphitis in Athens contributed.

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A hooded youth prepares to throw a petrol bomb at riot police in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 during a rally commemorating the killing of a 15-year old student back in 2008. School and university students marched in various towns of the country to mark the tenth anniversary of a fatal police shooting of a teenager in Athens that sparked the worst rioting Greece had seen in decades. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos) - The Associated Press


A hooded youth kicks a tear gas canister in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 during a rally commemorating the killing of a 15-year old student back in 2008. School and university students marched in various towns of the country to mark the tenth anniversary of a fatal police shooting of a teenager in Athens that sparked the worst rioting Greece had seen in decades. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos) - The Associated Press


Police in riot gear stand guard as it rains in central Syntagma square near a tree being prepared for Christmas during a rally marking ten years since the killing of a 15-year old student, in Athens, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. Demonstrators clashed with riot police in Athens and the country's second largest city of Thessaloniki on Thursday during the first of a series of events to mark the 10th anniversary of the fatal police shooting of a teenager that sparked Greece's most extensive riots in decades. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) - The Associated Press


Riot police guard in Athens, on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 during a rally commemorating the killing of a 15-year old student back in 2008. Hundreds of school and university students march through the streets of the Greek capital to mark the tenth anniversary of a fatal police shooting of a teenager in Athens that sparked the worst rioting Greece had seen in decades. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) - The Associated Press


Riot police detain a protester in Athens, on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 during a rally commemorating the killing of a 15-year old student back in 2008. Hundreds of school and university students march through the streets of the Greek capital to mark the tenth anniversary of a fatal police shooting of a teenager in Athens that sparked the worst rioting Greece had seen in decades. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) - The Associated Press


Hooded youths gesture at riot police in Athens, on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 during a rally commemorating the killing of a 15-year old student back in 2008. Hundreds of school and university students march through the streets of the Greek capital to mark the tenth anniversary of a fatal police shooting of a teenager in Athens that sparked the worst rioting Greece had seen in decades. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) - The Associated Press