Iraqi Migrant Arrested After Brutal Beating of Police Officer in 'War Zone' Riot

A 30-year-old Iraqi migrant has been arrested in connection with the brutal beating of a Greek police officer earlier this week during riots.

The Iraqi, who is said to have ripped the officer from his motorcycle, was arrested on Thursday afternoon at his home and has been charged with attempted murder. The man is also said to have a criminal past with prior charges for drugs and domestic violence.

According to a report from the Greek newspaper Proto Thema, the arrest came after the detention of a 22-year-old sport’s club hooligan who was identified after he dropped his wallet containing his identification at the scene riot.

The riots took place in the Athens suburb of Nea Smyrni on Tuesday night and saw hooded rioters attack police, leading to 10 injuries, with three police remaining hospitalised.

Nea Smyrni’s mayor Stavros Tzoulakis had described the scenes that night as being like a “war zone”.

Another attack on police officers was reported in the western city of Patras when a group of five youths threw Molotov cocktails at police from inside a school complex. The assailants also blocked off the roads with bins and pelted officers and passersby with rocks.

While the riots on Tuesday evening were linked to allegations of police brutality, Greece has seen many protests in recent weeks — some violent like the firebombing of an office of the governing New Democracy party — from far-left supporters of convicted terrorist hitman Dimitris Koufotinas.

Koufontinas, who is serving 11 life sentences for murders and assassinations from 1975 to 2000 when he was part of the Revolutionary Organization 17 November (17N) terrorist group, has been on hunger strike since January after demanding to be moved from his maximum-security prison cell to a high-security prison near Athens.

This week, the Central Committee of Transfers denied Koufodinas’s request to be transferred to the Korydallos prison, located just outside of Athens.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)