Athens - A violent attack on two Pakistani migrant labourers has sparked outrage in Greece, the latest in a string of suspected hate crimes across the country, reported Aljazeera on Thursday.

A group of men used iron bars and knives to beat stab the two migrant workers in a field in Aspropyrgos, an industrial area near the Greek capital of Athens. Vakas Hussein and Ashfak Mahmoud were subsequently hospitalised. Mahmoud told local media that five black-clad assailants encircled them in the field and yelled racist taunts as they struck their heads and bodies. Speaking to Greece’s 24/7 News, he said: “They said they would burn me alive.”

In an email to Al Jazeera, a Greek police spokesperson said the incident was the latest in a long string of suspected racist attacks. The police recorded 75 such incidents in the first half of this year alone.

Alluding to four similar attacks in Aspropyrgos between January and June, the spokesperson said Saturday’s incident was carried out by “a group of unknown perpetrators with racist characteristics [and] a police investigation is under way”.

Javed Aslam, the president of the Pakistani Community in Greece union, dismissed the police’s hate crime statistics, explaining that his organisation has documented between 70 to 80 attacks on Pakistani workers in Aspropyrgos between August 2016 and April 2017.

Describing the attackers in Saturday’s incident as “fascists”, Aslam told Al Jazeera: “The victims know the attackers, but the police never arrested them before.”

The Pakistani Community in Greece and anti-racist organisations are planning to protest violence against immigrants on Friday evening. “Our message is that the police need to do their job correctly,” Aslam said. “These men were attacked many times, but now we are standing together, and we have to stop [the attacks].” In a separate incident on Saturday, some 10 to 12 people attacked 30-year-old Osman Mohammed, also from Pakistan, as he made his way home from work in the Lambrini suburb of Athens, according to Keerfa, an anti-racist activist group.

Syriza, the left-wing party that currently controls the government, vowed in a statement to “put an end to the fascist gangs” who regularly target migrant labourers. 

In a statement published on Sunday, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) accused the Golden Dawn, a neo-fascist party that has a long history of attacking migrants and political opponents, of being behind the violence.