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Police shooting sparks Greece riots
Rioters fight police following the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy in Athens.
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2008 11:22 GMT

After the shooting, riots and protests against the police spread across Greece [Reuters]

Riots have broken out across Greece after police shot dead a 15-year-old boy in Athens.

Police said the teenager was shot in the traditionally left-wing Exarchia district of the Greek capital on Saturday after the boy tried to throw a firebomb at a patrol car.

The teenage was rushed to a nearby hospital but doctors could only confirm his death.

The news enraged hundreds of youths in the neighbourhood, who began attacking police cars with stones and firebombs, burning dozens of cars and smashing shop windows.

"Hundreds of them hit the streets, probably for revenge ... Dozens of police units are gathering to try to control the situation," a police official, who declined to be named, said.

Police responded by firing tear gas at the crowd, evacuating some restaurants in the area, and closing several streets to all traffic.

Hundreds of youths also took to the streets in Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest city, after the news of the shooting was reported.

The protests soon spread to the northern cities of Komotini and Ioannina and the Cretan city of Hania.

Government apology

Several hours after the incident, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, the interior minister, appologised for the incident on private Mega TV.

"On behalf of the government and the prime minister, I express my sorrow for the incident and especially the death of the young boy," Pavlopoulos said.

"An investigation to clarify the situation has already begun. There will be an exemplary punishment and measures will be taken so that such a thing will not be repeated." He added.

Police sources also said that two police officers were arrested and were being questioned over the incident.

Source:
Agencies
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