Greek Communists beaten in suspected neo-Nazi attack: police

Members of the "Golden Dawn" far-right political organization take part in a demonstration in Peraia, a suburb 30km east of Thessaloniki, on April 26, 2012.

ATHENS - Eight Communist youths were hospitalised on Friday in Athens after a beating attributed to members of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, police said.

The attack occurred early in the morning in the working-class district of Perama, near the main port of Piraeus, a police source told AFP, adding that the state of their injuries was not immediately clear.

The victims were part of a group of 30 Communists who were putting up party posters on the street.

They were assaulted with clubs and crowbars by an organised group of some 50 people which allegedly included two Golden Dawn members, according to the testimony given to police.

Golden Dawn is a rising force in Greek politics, capitalising on the country's recession plight and widespread anger towards mainstream parties for failing to tackle decades of corruption.

The neo-Nazi party last year elected 18 deputies to parliament and currently ranks third in opinion polls.

It has been suspected of orchestrating attacks on migrants - though the party has repeatedly denied this - and several of its lawmakers are facing court action for violent behaviour.