First arrests from Tuesday's violent clashes in Nea Smyrmi, including attack on downed police officer

Wednesday, 10 March 2021 19:51

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A primary suspect in Tuesday evening's attack on a motorcycle police officer in southern Athens' Nea Smyrni district has reportedly been arrested and transferred to police headquarters in the Greek capital.

The perpetrator shown in the ensuing mob attack is seen running towards the last of a dozen or so motorbikes carrying pairs of police, the driver and pillion passenger, pulling the latter off and subsequently kicking and stomping on the downed officers. Dozens of other masked peopled joined in on the nearly two-and-half minute assault until other police officers returned and warded them off.

The police officer, 27, sustained serious but not life-threatening injuries, in part due to the fact he was wearing a helmet and protective body armor.  

The violent scenes in Nea Smyrni came during a protest against police brutality, two days after a police officer was shown using a baton to subdue a man in the district's main square.

The suspect was identified as a 30-year man, originally from Iraq but with Greek ID papers. He was arrested in a working-class district in western Attica prefecture (Aspropyrgos municipality), more than 20 kilometers from Nea Smyrni. Other still unconfirmed reports claim the involvement of fan clubs of the country's biggest sports clubs.

Another 15 people were arrested during Tuesday's violence, including a 22-year-old man charged with attempted homicide in relation to the attack on the downed

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