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21/06/03 . By Michele Kambas and Phillip Pangalos . Yahoo! News . Greece
Greek Protesters Torch McDonald's in Anti-EU Rally
THESSALONIKI, Greece (Reuters) - Police fired volleys of teargas in Greece's second largest city on Saturday to disperse about 200 self-styled anarchists who smashed shop windows and set fire to buildings including a McDonald's.
Reuters correspondents said the anarchists were among 25,000 anti-capitalist protesters who marched through Thessaloniki's city center in late afternoon about 80 km (50 miles) west of where a European Union (news - web sites) summit ended earlier in the day.
"They threw petrol bombs into the McDonald's and planted anarchist black flags on the footpath outside," correspondent Phillip Pangalos said. "Others attacked nearby shops with axes and sticks."
Riot police rounded up small groups of demonstrators, beating them with sticks and spraying tear gas.
About a dozen shop and building entrances as well as cars were on fire and thick smoke billowed from the city center.
"The situation is out of control," local resident Maria Hounda said. "This is like an urban war zone, everything is on fire."
Reuters correspondent Michele Kambas said the protesters were "very well equipped" and had entered several shops.
Others had barricaded themselves near the city's university, the country's largest, using garbage bins as road blocks.
On Friday, Greek riot police fired teargas to disperse anarchists who threw stones and tried to evade police roadblocks just a few kilometers from the EU summit site in the seaside resort of Porto Carras.
Greece had deployed 16,000 troops and police across the scenic coastal region as well as Thessaloniki in expectation of the protests in the country's biggest ever security operation.