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Athens anarchists release hostages

Athens (Greece)
Violent Demonstrations

ATHENS, Greece (CNN) -- A group of anarchists took 150 hostages in a six-hour standoff with police after they were angered by the sight of private security guards' cars illegally parked at a university in central Athens, a government official said Wednesday.

The hooded anarchists left the campus, followed by the hostages, after negotiations with law enforcement and school officials.

A 28-year-old anarchist was injured by a warning shot fired by a security guard when the group became violent, authorities said.

Security vehicles were banned from university grounds in 1975. Hundreds of students died when the military junta that ruled Greece at the time rolled tanks onto campus during a bloody student uprising, police said.

The security guards were accompanying two Socialist politicians to a book review discussion in the auditorium of the National Technical University of Athens, said Lefceris Ikonomou, spokesman for the Public Order Ministry.

He said the unarmed anarchists were returning home from a protest march when they spotted the cars and went on a rampage, torching cars and commiting other acts of vandalism.

The guard fired warning shots, injuring one anarchist, and the guard was being treated at a hospital for shock early Wednesday.

Initially, about 30 anarchists stormed the campus, but that number grew to about 300.

They agreed to release the hostages about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday (0130 GMT)after being assured they would not be arrested.

Journalist Anthee Carassava contributed to this report

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