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Riots break out in Greece after police shoot 15-year-old boy
Nationwide rioting has broken out in Greece after police shot dead a 15-year-old boy in Athens. Rioting began in the capital and quickly spread to the northern city of Thessaloniki and even to the islands of Crete and Corfu
More than 1,000 people protested in Greece's second city, Thessaloniki. The protestors attacked department stores, banks, police stations and other public buildings. Riots were also reported in the university towns of Patras, Komotini, Heralkion Ioannina and Chania on Crete.
In Athens, the rioting quickly spread to Monistiraki, one of the main tourist districts, and to Ermou, a major shopping street. Buildings next to the ancient monument of Hadrian's Library were burning on Sunday morning.
Sunday saw renewed demonstrations and clashes with the police. Police fired tear gas into a crowd in Thessaloniki that chanted, “Murderers in uniform.”
At least 20 stores were burnt out, according to the Athens fire service.
“We've never seen anything like this,” an anonymous senior police officer told reporters. “The tension is so thick you can almost cut it with a knife.”
Two police officers have been arrested and one senior precinct officer suspended in connection with the shooting of the boy, according to the Greek authorities.
The boy, Andreas Grigoropoulos, was killed in the Exarchia district of Athens at about 10 p.m. on Saturday. His death was followed by rioting as protestors sent text messages to rally support.
Police allege that he was one of a group of youths who were throwing stones at a police car. One police officer is alleged to have fired a stun grenade, and another got out of the car with a gun and shot the boy in the chest. Witnesses claim that the police officer took aim at the boy. One witness took a video of the incident. The boy died before he arrived at hospital.
On Sunday afternoon, several thousand people gathered to march to the main Athens police station. John Gelis, a 28-year-old psychologist, described the mood. “The feeling is anger. A kid was killed just like that. It's a sign of arrogance by the police. It's an act against democracy.”