Extreme-right supporters stage big Athens march

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Associated Press

Posted on February 2, 2013 at 11:01 PM

Updated Sunday, Feb 3 at 3:03 AM

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — More than 5,000 supporters of Greece's extreme-right Golden Dawn party have marched past the U.S. Embassy in Athens, chanting anti-Turkish, anti-U.S. and anti-immigrant slogans to commemorate a 1996 border incident that caused a crisis between Greece and Turkey.

Many of the marchers held burning torches and hundreds of motorcyclists brought up the rear.

Saturday's march ended peacefully.

The 1996 incident involved two uninhabited islets off the Turkish coast whose ownership is disputed by Turkey and Greece.

Nationalists from both countries planted flags on the islets, and a military confrontation between the two nations was only averted after U.S. intervention. Three Greek navy officers died when their helicopter crashed during a reconnaissance mission in the area.

Withdrawal of the Greek flag was seen by nationalists as a shameful capitulation.

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