Greece: March to honor slain rapper turns violent

Greece: March to honor slain rapper turns violent

By The Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 18, 2014 at 2:42 p.m.


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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — More than 50 people were detained by police Thursday after clashes broke out during a rally west of Athens to honor a rap singer stabbed to death a year ago.

The singer's death triggered a crackdown on the extreme right Golden Dawn party, which was allegedly linked to the attack.

Hundreds were involved in the violence that followed a peaceful rally in Keratsini, west of Athens, where rapper Pavlos Fyssas was killed a year ago.

Rioters hurled petrol bombs Thursday at police, smashed storefronts and set fire to trash bins to use as barricades. Police responded with tear gas. At least one bystander was injured.

A volunteer for the Golden Dawn party was arrested for the murder of Fyssas, 34, while a criminal investigation that followed prompted the arrest of party leader Nikos Michaloliakos and other senior members.

Golden Dawn's jailed spokesman, Ilias Kasidiaris, again denied any party involvement in Fyssas' death.

"The (government) exploited the death of a citizen to attack the third-most popular political party in the country," he said.

Golden Dawn first appeared in the mid-1980s as a fringe neo-Nazi movement. It saw a massive rise in support during the country's severe financial crisis that started five years ago.

More than 6,000 people attended Thursday's march in Athens, according to police estimates, while a similar number also rallied in the country's second largest city, Thessaloniki.

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