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24 February, 2020
 
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At least 129 detained in large police sweep after shooting in downtown Athens

The arrests come after a shooting on Thursday that left one dead, with police believe occurred due to a turf war

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

At least 129 people had been detained in downtown Athens by Friday afternoon as part of an ongoing police operation to find the culprits behind a shooting that left one dead and one injured in what authorities believe is a turf war between competing criminal gangs.

Earlier in the day, state broadcaster ERT showed officers speaking to numerous people in Menandrou Street, the same area where the fatal shooting took place on Thursday night.

A journalist said officers were asking foreign nationals to produce legal identification documents.

The police operation started after a 23-year-old Afghan national was shot dead and a 25-year-old fellow national was seriously injured with a knife in the clash.

Eye-witnesses said they saw about 30 people armed with guns and knives attacking a group of men selling contraband cigarettes on the corner of Menandrou and Sapfous Streets. They also said the men demanded money from the Afghans to allow them to sell their loot in that street corner.

Officers who were called at the scene found the two victims lying in the street, covered in blood.

According to police sources, Thursday’s killings are yet another incident in a gang war to control drug trafficking, smuggling and the trade of forged documents in the center of the capital.

Sources also told Kathimerini the attackers were Pakistani nationals, while Citizen Protection Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis said in a television interview on Thursday night that the two victims had criminal records.

A similar incident took place in the same area in January 2019, when an Afghan and Pakistani nationals clashed, leaving one dead.

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