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Protesters, police clash in anti-fascist protests around Greece

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Clashes erupted between protesters and police across Greece on Wednesday, local media reported, as thousands demonstrated against fascism after a leftist musician was murdered by a suspected neo-Nazi.

Police fired tear gas at groups of protesters in Athens, the northern city of Thessaloniki and in the western city of Patras, where the city centre remained sealed off.

The nationwide unrest was sparked by the death of Pavlos Fyssas, a 34-year-old left-wing hip hop singer, who was stabbed to death early on Wednesday morning outside a cafe in Keratsini, western Athens.

Some 5,000 demonstrators took to the streets of Keratsini in protest, according to a police source.

Police officers there fired volleys of tear gas at a group of protesters who pelted them with wooden sticks and stones, the state-run Athens News Agency said.

Police also used tear gas in Thessaloniki, where some 6,000 people marched against fascism, after some protesters shattered shop windows.

In Patras, around 1,000 protesters threw rocks and molotov cocktails at police forces, who responded with tear gas. A retired police officer was injured in the scuffles, according to a police source.

A 45-year-old alleged member of the Golden Dawn neo-Nazi group was arrested at the scene of Wednesday's murder. Police say the suspect has confessed to stabbing Fyssas, who wrote music under the nickname Kilah P.

The suspect's wife was later also arrested for giving false evidence to police during the investigation.

Golden Dawn has denied any connection to the murder, which came a few days after a group of Communists were beaten by suspected neo-Nazis.

Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou blamed the killing on Golden Dawn, condemning the group's "raw violence" and calling on other parties to "raise a barrier to the vicious circle of tension and violence".

Earlier on Wednesday, some 20,000 people marched in Athens, Thessaloniki and other cities in a separate protest against a government overhaul of the public sector.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130918/protesters-police-clash-anti-fascist-protests-around-greece