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Greek policeman arrested over immigrant muggings in racially tense Athens district

A Greek policeman has been arrested on suspicion of carrying out a series of armed robberies against immigrants in a racially tense part of central Athens.

A police statement said the 31-year-old was taken into custody early Thursday, after allegedly stealing €1,000 ($1,275) at gunpoint from an Iranian man. A second Greek man was arrested on suspicion of aiding the policeman in the mugging.

The statement said the policeman is suspected of similar attacks on another two immigrants since September.

The muggings took place in the capital's Aghios Panteleimon district, home to thousands of immigrants from Asia and Africa — many of whom entered Greece illegally. The crime-ridden area has become a flashpoint of recent racist attacks, with gangs of ultranationalists smashing immigrants' shops and attacking dark-skinned people.

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