Riot rage: Athens protesters throw firebombs, police shoot tear gas
A rally in the Greek capital turned violent when protesters in Syntagma Square lobbed Molotov cocktails at police, who retaliated by firing tear gas at the demonstrators.
Security forces also reportedly used flashbang grenades and pepper spray to push protesters back from the parliament building. According to Greek newspaper Kathimerin, the police had been ordered to orders to refrain from using chemicals against protesters.
It's as thousands gathered in front of parliament for the country’s biggest anti-austerity protest since the new government came to power.
Clashes erupted in different parts of Athens Syntagma Square, with demonstrators throwing fire bombs at police.
Witnesses reported smoke rising over the square as security forces dispersed most of the protesters. Some remained, and continued the demonstration; others relocated.
Athens police have arrested at least 20 protesters so far, local media report. Some of the arrests come after members of the radical leftist party Syriza clashed with riot police in the streets of Panepistimiou and Benaki, in the capital's downtown district. Police reportedly again used stun grenades to disperse the hooded youths.
Several injuries are reported.
The general strike halted transit and other industries nationwide. As many as 350,000 Greeks have poured out into streets across the country, estimates the civil servants union ADEDY.