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Riots break out in Athens

Rioters rampaged through Athens and the northern city of Thessaloniki Sunday, hurling Molotov cocktails, burning stores and blocking city streets with flaming barricades after protests against the fatal police shooting of a teenager erupted into chaos (USA Today).

Youths wearing hoods smashed storefronts and cars in Athens. Riot police responded with tear gas while the fire department rushed to extinguish blazes. Several bank branches, stores and at least one building were on fire on a major street leading to the capital's police headquarters. Clashes also broke out near Parliament.

Streets quickly emptied as word of the violence spread. Local media reported several people sought treatment for breathing problems.

Violence often breaks out during demonstrations in Greece between riot police and anarchists, who attack banks, high-end shops, diplomatic vehicles and foreign car dealerships in late-night fire-bombings that rarely cause injuries (USA Today).

The shooting of the 16-year-old boy that set off the first riots took place Saturday night in Exarchia, a downtown Athens district of bars, music clubs and restaurants that is seen as the anarchists' home base.

Sunday's riots broke out during demonstrations moving toward the police headquarters in Thessaloniki and Athens. Protesters in the northern city attacked City Hall, two police precincts, several shops and a bank, as well as vans and cars belonging to several Greek television channels.

Police said the Saturday night riots left 24 policemen injured, with one remaining hospitalized Sunday morning.

Rioters damaged or burned 31 stores, nine bank branches and 25 cars, including six police cars, police said in a statement. Six people were arrested, five of them for theft from damaged stores and one for carrying a weapon, it said (The New York Times).