Three hurt as anti-police protests turn violent

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The Independent Online

Young people hurled petrol bombs at police in Athens yesterday during protests to mark the anniversary of the 2008 police killing of a teenager that triggered the country's worst riots in decades.

Three people were injured as thousands marched through the capital in protests the authorities had feared would turn violent amid rising public discontent as Greece battles a debt crisis with stringent austerity measures.

Hundreds of hooded demonstrators threw firebombs, stones and oranges at police in full riot gear, who returned with several rounds of tear gas and percussion bombs. Protesters damaged bus stops and set fire to garbage cans. "One protester was injured in clashes with police. Two bystanders were also rushed to hospital," said a police official who requested anonymity.

Earlier, about 3,000 students marched through Athens shouting anti-government slogans, such as "resistance is the only way".

The government's clampdown on spending in exchange for an IMF-EU bailout has worsened the country's recession, and fears over whether it can pay its debts have shaken the euro.