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12 Feb, 2012 17:36

Greek police fire tear-gas at protesters (VIDEO)

Riot police in full gear including gas-masks have resorted to extreme measures after the rally against anti-austerity measures in front of the Greek parliament turned violent.

A crowd of several thousands had gathered on Syntagma Square in the heart of the Greek capital to protest against the parliamentary debates on new austerity measures. If passed, the measures could see the country secure a crucial €130 million bailout from the EU and the IMF.

Youths in masks and scarves wrapped around their faces threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at the law enforcement officers. The square was soon filled up with tear-gas, and small fires were also visible in the streets. Sticks, stones and sometimes even garbage bins were used by the protesting youths as they focused their anger at riot police. Ambulances were on site and a number of people received medical treatment, some even taken away on stretchers.

At least ten buildings went up in flames as the riots engulfed the center of the Greek capital. A three-story corner building believed to be a home appliances store was severely damaged by fire. Among other buildings damaged were a cinema, a bank, a mobile phone dealership, a glassware shop and a coffee shop, the Associated Press says citing the fire department.