Violence erupts in Athens on anniversary of student killing by police

ATHENS (Reuters) - Hooded protesters threw petrol bombs and set off fireworks during clashes with Greek riot police in Athens on Tuesday on the eighth anniversary of a teenager's killing by police.

The fatal shooting of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos in 2008, a year before Greece's economic crisis began, triggered the worst riots seen in Greece for decades and they lasted for weeks.

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Violence erupts in Athens on anniversary of student's killing
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Violence erupts in Athens on anniversary of student's killing

Fireworks explode next to riot police during clashes following an anniversary rally marking the 2008 police shooting of 15-year-old student, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, in Athens, Greece, December 6, 2016.

(REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)

A petrol bomb explodes next to riot police during clashes following an anniversary rally marking the 2008 police shooting of 15-year-old student, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, in Athens, Greece, December 6, 2016.

(REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)

Violent demonstrators throw Molotov cocktails as they clash with Greek riot police following a demonstration, commemorating the 8th anniversary of the killing of teenager Alexandros Grigoropoulos by a Greek police officer, in Athens, Greece on December 06, 2016. 15-years-old Grigoropoulos was killed an alleged police shooting, in 2008.

(Photo by Ayhan Mehmet/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

A man on a bike stands behind a police cordon guarding an anniversary rally marking the 2008 police shooting of 15-year-old student, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, in Athens, Greece, December 6, 2016.

(REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)

Students shout slogans during an anniversary rally marking the 2008 police shooting of 15-year-old student, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, in Athens, Greece, December 6, 2016.

(REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)

Anti-authoritarian clash with riot police in central Athens, after a demonstration to mark the 8th anniversary of the murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos who was shot dead by a police officer in 2008.

(Photo by George Vitsaras/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

A hooded protester throws a petrol bomb during clashes following an anniversary rally marking the 2008 police shooting of 15-year-old student, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, in Athens, Greece, December 6, 2016.

(REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)

Riot police stand guard beneath a Christmas decoration in front of the parliament building during an anniversary rally marking the 2008 police shooting of 15-year-old student, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, in Athens, Greece, December 6, 2016.

(REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)

A riot police officer runs next to flames from a petrol bomb during clashes following an anniversary rally marking the 2008 police shooting of 15-year-old student, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, in Athens, Greece, December 6, 2016.

(REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)

Riot police walk past the parliament building while guarding an anniversary rally marking the 2008 police shooting of 15-year-old student, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, in Athens, Greece, December 6, 2016.

(REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)

Riot police run through flames caused by petrol bombs during clashes following an anniversary rally marking the 2008 police shooting of 15-year-old student, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, in Athens, Greece, December 6, 2016.

(REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)

Students shout slogans during an anniversary rally marking the 2008 police shooting of 15-year-old student, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, in Athens, Greece, December 6, 2016.

(REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)

Violent demonstrators throw Molotov cocktails as they clash with Greek riot police following a demonstration, commemorating the 8th anniversary of the killing of teenager Alexandros Grigoropoulos by a Greek police officer, in Athens, Greece on December 06, 2016. 15-years-old Grigoropoulos was killed an alleged police shooting, in 2008.

(Photo by Ayhan Mehmet/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Anti-authoritarian clash with riot police in central Athens, after a demonstration to mark the 8th anniversary of the murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos who was shot dead by a police officer in 2008.

(Photo by George Vitsaras/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Violent demonstrators throw Molotov cocktails as they clash with Greek riot police following a demonstration, commemorating the 8th anniversary of the killing of teenager Alexandros Grigoropoulos by a Greek police officer, in Athens, Greece on December 06, 2016. 15-years-old Grigoropoulos was killed an alleged police shooting, in 2008.

(Photo by Ayhan Mehmet/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Violent demonstrators throw Molotov cocktails as they clash with Greek riot police following a demonstration, commemorating the 8th anniversary of the killing of teenager Alexandros Grigoropoulos by a Greek police officer, in Athens, Greece on December 06, 2016. 15-years-old Grigoropoulos was killed an alleged police shooting, in 2008.

(Photo by Ayhan Mehmet/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Anti-authoritarian clash with riot police in central Athens, after a demonstration to mark the 8th anniversary of the murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos who was shot dead by a police officer in 2008.

(Photo by George Vitsaras/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Anti-authoritarian clash with riot police in central Athens, after a demonstration to mark the 8th anniversary of the murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos who was shot dead by a police officer in 2008.

(Photo by George Vitsaras/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Anti-authoritarian clash with riot police in central Athens, after a demonstration to mark the 8th anniversary of the murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos who was shot dead by a police officer in 2008.

(Photo by George Vitsaras/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Fireworks explode next to riot police during clashes following an anniversary rally marking the 2008 police shooting of 15-year-old student, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, in Athens, Greece, December 6, 2016.

(REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)

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The annual march to commemorate the incident usually draws thousands of anti-establishment and anti-austerity protesters.

Tuesday's violence erupted after hundreds marched peacefully in Athens.

Small fires burned in the streets of the district in central Athens where the shooting took place. Demonstrators hurled scores of petrol bombs and rocks at police in riot gear, who responded with tear gas.

Greece is in its eighth year of recession and its economy is struggling with record high unemployment. It has called on its international lenders to abandon demands for harsher austerity once the latest bailout - the third since 2010 - ends in 2018.

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