More than 1,000 Muslim protesters clashed with police in central Athens on Friday (May 22nd), causing havoc in the streets. Police fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the protesters. At least 14 people, seven Muslim immigrants and seven policemen, were injured, and 46 people were arrested.
More than 70 cars, ten stores and one bank were damaged. The protest was prompted by a police check in a coffee shop Thursday, when a policeman allegedly took a Koran from a customer, ripped it apart, threw it on the floor and stomped on it. Police have launched an investigation into the incident.
In other news Saturday, attackers threw firebombs at an Athens shop used as a Muslim prayer centre for immigrants, injuring at least three people. The assailants smashed the shop’s windows and set it ablaze, police said. Police are investigating whether the arson attack is linked to the Muslim protests.