Greek police clash with protesters opposing new garbage dump near Athens

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A car driver reverses his vehicle, after protesters blocked the road with rubble, in the town of Keratea, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) southeast of Athens, Tuesday, March 29, 2011. Authorities say new clashes have broken out in the town near the Greek capital between riot police and residents protesting plans for a rubbish dump in the area. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)By The Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece (AP)— Riot police fired repeated volleys of tear gas Tuesday to push back firebomb-wielding residents of a town near the Greek capital in the latest violence over plans for a garbage dump in the area.

The extensive clashes in Keratea, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of Athens, began Tuesday morning, when protesters set fire to a bulldozer sent to clear roads they had blocked for more than a day with rubble.

In pitched battles fought across rural roads and in fields on the outskirts of the town, hooded and masked protesters hurled rocks and dozens of firebombs at lines of riot police as evening fell, and threatened the few journalists covering the violence.

Police said four officers were injured in the clashes. Authorities called in bulldozers to clear road blocks set up by the protesters.

The clashes in Keratea were the latest in a series of violent demonstrations against the plans to set up a dump in the area.

Keratea residents have been involved in running clashes with riot police for much of the past three months, arguing the dump will degrade their area and damage local antiquities.

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