The center of Athens turned into a war zone on Sunday afternoon when the Islamist community began clashing with the Greek riot police. The rioters were staging a rally in order to protest against the "hate film" that was broadcasted on YouTube last week and that challenges the Prophet Mohammed and the Muslim faith. The film has triggered a wave of violent reactions and clashes throughout the Islamic world as well as in many European cities as well.
After four hours of clashes, traffic returned to normal a little after 6.30 pm.
Earlier, hundreds of participants gathered with the intent of marching to the American Embassy in order to protest the film, but they were quickly met with the Greek riot police who had set up a security zone in order to ward off any such event. The police stationed riot buses between Stadiou and Aiolou as well as September 3 Street in an attempt to block the protesters from marching towards the embassy and were thus successful in containing the rioters in the area around Omonia square. This tactic also prevented the violence from spreading to other areas of Athens as well.
At first there was just a give and take with the riot police, but then the rioters began to intensify their attacks and the police answered back by using tear gas.
This lasted for a while and then new clashes erupted a little after 5 pm on Athinas Road. The protesters began breaking slabs of marble on walkways and began flinging them at the riot police and the police once again responded with tear gas. Meanwhile on Panepistimiou street the "Aintas", (a water-canon riot control truck) was also reported to have made an appearance. -We do not know if the riot-truck was put into operation-.
Then suddenly the rioters gathered in uniform and began to pray.
Even so, as soon as they finished praying, fresh tension began and a little after 6 pm the police set an aggressive plan into motion by pushing the protesters towards Pireos Street. This infuriated the Muslims and they answered back by vandalizing the streets and buildings along this street, as well as at the same time set fires to a series of rubbish bins, they smashed shops and display windows as well as vandalized many automobiles.
While this was all going on, and at the other end of Attiki. specifically at the Korydallos prison, Muslim inmates went on a rampage and began protesting as well by burning mattresses and clothing. Security officials at the prison quickly brought the situation under control and from what we learn the situation is calm again.
News reports claim that around 30 people were arrested.
Proto Thema - http://www.protothema.gr/greece/article/?aid=225065
To Ethnos - http://www.ethnos.gr/article.asp?catid=22768&subid=2&pubid=63715207