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Riots erupt in Greece after teen killed by police officer

Riot police in Athens try to avoid a gasoline bomb thrown at them during one of many clashes in Greece on Sunday, a day after a 15-year-old was fatally shot by police.

Associated Press

Riot police in Athens try to avoid a gasoline bomb thrown at them during one of many clashes in Greece on Sunday, a day after a 15-year-old was fatally shot by police.

ATHENS, Greece — Hundreds of youths angered by the fatal police shooting of a teenager rampaged through Greece's two largest cities for a second day Sunday in some of the worst rioting the country has seen in years.

Gangs smashed stores, torched cars and erected burning barricades in the streets of Athens and Thessaloniki. Riot police clashed with groups of mostly self-styled anarchists throwing Molotov cocktails, rocks and bottles. Clouds of tear gas hung in the air, sending passers-by scurrying for cover.

Rioting in several cities, including Hania in Crete and cities in northern Greece, began within hours of the death Saturday night of a 15-year-old shot by police in Exarchia. The downtown Athens district of bars, music clubs and restaurants is seen as the anarchists' home base.

Soon stores, banks and cars were ablaze.

The last time a teenager was killed in a police shooting — during a demonstration in 1985 — it sparked weeks of rioting.

The two officers involved in the shooting have been charged, one with premeditated manslaughter and the illegal use of a weapon, and the other as an accomplice. They are to appear before a court Wednesday. They and the Exarchia precinct police chief have been suspended.

Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, whose offer to resign was rejected Sunday, has promised a thorough investigation.

Police said the two officers involved say they were attacked by a group of youths and, when they confronted the youths, one fired three shots and the other threw a stun grenade.

Riots erupt in Greece after teen killed by police officer 12/07/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 11:39am]
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