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Petros Giannakouris, Associated Press
A mourner places a flower on the coffin containing the body of 77-year-old retired pharmacist Dimitris Christoulas , in Athens, on Saturday, April 7, 2012, who committed suicide at a central Athens square Wednesday. In a suicide note, he claimed the financial crisis in Greece had 'destroyed' him. Hundreds attended the ceremony at an Athens cemetery. Christoulas' body will be cremated at a later date.

ATHENS, Greece — A protest that followed a memorial service for a retired pharmacist who committed suicide has turned violent, with some demonstrators badly beating a policeman in Athens and stealing his bulletproof vest and other equipment.

Dimitris Christoulas, 77, shot himself Wednesday in the Greek capital's Syntagma Square. He left a note blaming politicians for his financial woes and calling on "young people" to kill their elected leaders.

Greece is in economic crisis, and the government has pursued austerity measures that have angered the public. Hundreds attended Christoulas' memorial service Saturday.

A police official said the policeman attacked afterward suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The official did not give his name in line with agency rules.