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Greek protestors clash with police on anniversary of unarmed teen's death

Protestors clashed with police, broke windows and burned store fronts on the sixth anniversary of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos' death.

By Fred Lambert
Greek protestors clash with police on anniversary of unarmed teen's death
A gas mask clad demonstrator holds a large stone in the center of Athens, Greece on February 10, 2012. Riots erupted in Greece December 6, 2014 during the sixth anniversary of a police officer shooting an unarmed teen. UPI/Giorgos Moutafis | License Photo

ATHENS, Greece, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Violence between protestors and police erupted Saturday in Greece as demonstrators marked the anniversary of an unarmed teen's death by a police shooting six years ago.

The protests were largest in Athens, where up to 5,000 demonstrators marched. Before the rally, anarchists using rocks and Molotov cocktails reportedly attacked police vans in the city's Exarcheia neighborhood, while several hooded protestors broke traffic cameras and store windows and burned store fronts as the rally took place. Riot police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse crowds.

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Similar violence between authorities and protestors occurred in cities such as Thessaloniki and Agrinio. In Patra anarchists used a catapult against riot police, who countered with tear gas and flares.

The demonstrations mark the sixth anniversary of the death of Alexis Grigoropoulos, an unarmed 15-year-old shot by police in 2008. Riots and protests erupted in the wake of the incident, and in previous years demonstrations marking its anniversary have also resulted in violence.

In at least two of the affected cities, Athens and Thessaloniki, no injuries were reported, though dozens of dissenters have been arrested across the country.

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Saturday's violence comes after confrontations between riot police and demonstrators at the University of Athens last month, when students opposed the closure of higher learning institutions in the capital four days before anticipated protests commemorating the 41-year anniversary of a popular anti-junta uprising.

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