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Page last updated at 22:16 GMT, Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Tear gas fired at Athens protest

Masked youths throw stones at police in Athens
Some 200 protesters were detained for throwing stones or carrying bombs

Police in Athens have fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of youths marching to commemorate those who died during a student uprising 36 years ago.

Anarchist demonstrators threw stones at riot police, who responded with the tear gas.

The violence came after the protesters marched through the capital beating drums and chanting slogans.

The annual march from the city's Polytechnic to the American embassy frequently ends in trouble.

Scuffles broke out after the mostly peaceful march involving an estimated 15,000 demonstrators. A group of motorcycle police came under attack, and running street fights followed.

Two hundred protesters were detained for carrying petrol bombs or throwing stones at police.

Reuters news agency, quoting an unnamed police official, said 13 policemen were injured, one seriously.

Observers say this demonstration is a crucial test of the public order skills of Greece's new Socialist government.

Tensions between left-wingers and the police have been heightened since riots last December, when a guard shot dead 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos and triggered three weeks of riots.

The date of 17 November is a solemn anniversary for modern democratic Greece.

Every Greek pupil is taught that the freedom they enjoy today would be impossible without the sacrifice of the Polytechnic students, who died when the dictatorship's tanks crushed a rebellion in 1973.



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