Riots break out in Athens between right and left-wing protesters
Jan 15, 2011, 15:41 GMT
Athens - Riots broke out in Athens on Saturday at a demonstration by left-wing protesters against a planned wall to stop illegal immigration between Turkey and Greece.
Left and right-wing protesters clashed with each other as well as police in the Agios Panteleimon area, which has a large immigrant population.
Around 3,000 left-wing activists wanted to demonstrate against xenophobia and stage a concert. Extreme-right protesters had also gathered to demonstrate.
Some left-wingers threw stones at the police, who reacted by firing tear gas and stun grenades at the demonstrators.
At the same time, police clashed with the right-wing demonstrators, who threw stones at the left-wing protesters and chanted anti-immigrant slogans.
Police officers struggled to keep the two groups apart as passers- by fled the altercation, according to television reports.
Greece is currently struggling to contain a wave of illegal immigration. Estimates suggest that every tenth person living in Greece is from a non-EU state.
Human rights organizations calculate that there are around 500,000 illegal immigrants currently living in the country.
In an effort to dam illegal immigration, Greece is currently planning a to build a 12.5-kilometre long fence along a part of the Turkish border where particularly high numbers of immigrants manage to cross.
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