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March commemorating 1973 student uprising underway in Athens, amid heavy police presence

Several thousand marchers are commemorating the 39th anniversary of a deadly student uprising against the then ruling dictatorship, with more than 6,000 police deployed in the center of the Greek capital.

Protesters are marching from the National Technical University of Athens, where the 1973 uprising kicked off, to the U.S. Embassy. Many Greeks hold the U.S. responsible for backing the dictatorship.

An advance group of several hundred, mostly university students, peacefully marched with a Greek flag bloodied during the uprising. Police say about 8,000 more were following. Marches in previous years have turned violent and police say they have detained several people as a precaution.

The Communist Party will undertake a separate march past the U.S. Embassy and toward the Israeli one, protesting Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip.