Greek activists return from Israel on military plane

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A Greek military plane repatriated to Athens early on Thursday over 30 activists detained in the deadly Israeli raid on a flotilla aiming to break the Gaza embargo.

The C-130 military transport aircraft brought back 31 Greeks, three French citizens and an American, the Greek foreign ministry said.

Greek alternate foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas welcomed the activists at the military airfield of Elefsina where the C-130 touched down after 3:00 am (0000 GMT).

Around 300 relatives and pro-Palestinians had likewise gathered to greet them.

The four non-Greeks will be put up in hotels until they can return home, a foreign ministry source said.

Several protests were held in Athens and the main northern city of Thessaloniki over the Israeli commando raid early Monday in international waters against the activist flotilla, which left nine dead.

A new protest is scheduled to be held on Thursday evening.

© 2010 AFP

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