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Riot police and protesters clash in Athens

Riot police clashed with rock-throwing demonstrators in central Athens today, sending Christmas shoppers and people in cafes running for cover.

Frightened parents scooped up their children from a Christmas carousel in the city's main square and fled.

The protesters broke away from a peaceful rally and hurled rocks and petrol bombs at police and buildings near parliament. Police responded with tear gas. It was the latest outbreak of violence over the police's fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy.

Firefighters and police also stopped an effort today to burn down the city's main Christmas tree, which was replaced this week after being torched in riots.

The death of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos on 6 December shocked Greece and has led to the worst rioting the country has seen in decades.