Youths with sledgehammers smash stores

Dozens of youths carrying sledgehammers and iron bars have smashed cars, banks and storefronts in an upscale district of central Athens in the latest outbreak of violence in Greece. Several dozen stores and cars were damaged in the daytime attack, which sent shoppers and bystanders in the city's Kolonaki area fleeing in panic. Leaflets scattered at the scene Friday identified the attackers as members of local anarchist groups. A similar attack also occurred Friday in the northern city of Thessaloniki, leaving three banks damaged. Violence involving anarchist youths has escalated following riots last December that were sparked by the fatal police shooting of a teenage boy.