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Anarchists clash with police after protest in Athens

Rioters threw Molotov cocktails at police when an anarchist protest against maximum-security prisons turned violent. The anarchist movement has sought to put rising amounts of pressure on the government in recent weeks.

The streets of Athens saw rioting following an anarchist protest late Tuesday, with black-clad youths clashing violently with police in the latest episode of anti-establishment demonstrations that have become an increasingly common occurrence in the Greek capital.

Dozens of rioters threw Molotov cocktails and stones at police, who responded with canisters of tear gas. At least four two cars were burned and one shop front was smashed, while four people were detained by police in the incident in the Exarchia district, popular with artists and intellectuals.

The clashes came after hundreds of anarchists demonstrated against the country's system of high-security prisons, where many militant anarchists are held. The new leftist-led government has vowed to scrap the facilities, but protests have continued anyway since the administration took power in January.

"War of democracy" and "Fire in the prisons" read the protest banners.

Opposition parties have criticized the government led by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for not doing enough to quell the demonstrations.

Last week, anti-establishment protestors occupied several public buildings and briefly entered the grounds of parliament, calling for the release of imprisoned members of a Marxist group.

es/jil (AP, dpa, Reuters)

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