Greek police detained 70 as squatters cleared

Greek police detained 70 persons and arrested one on Thursday during an operation to clear squatters in central Athens, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.

In the same neighborhood of Exarchia in downtown Athens a week ago, over 100 individuals, most of whom are migrants, were detained and three were arrested for drug possession.

Two buildings that had been occupied by anarchist groups for several months were evacuated on Thursday. Another two buildings were evacuated last week.

The district in recent years has become a stronghold of illegally-resided anarchists who often clash with police, leaving behind smashed windows and torched cars.

For the first time in a decade local residents and store owners staged a protest requesting more measures to tackle the “lawlessness” in the area.

The police operations came a few days after a group of about 40 hooded people armed with clubs, knives and pistols attacked and slightly injured two Coast Guard officers who were escorting a prosecutor investigating a drug case in the area, according to eye witnesses.