A British tourist, celebrating his 19th birthday in Crete, was fatally stabbed on Tuesday following an apparent dispute with other holidaymakers.
Party-goers in the resort of Malia looked on horrified as the teenager collapsed in a pool of blood in the first such incident since the tourist season began.
Superintendent Constantinos Boukakis speaking from Crete said, "there was a row, and then a fight, outside a bar in Malia. A lot of people were involved and a lot of alcohol was consumed. Already, there have been 17 arrests including the man who has been singled out as wielding the knife."
The victim, identified as Tyrell Matthews-Burton from London, died within minutes of being stabbed in the heart, despite efforts by paramedics to revive him. "He was stabbed once in the back and once in the chest," Manolis Michalodimitrakis, Crete's coroner, said.
The body is expected to be repatriated this week.
On Tuesday night, flowers were spotted outside his parents' home in Forest Gate, north-east London.
Relatives of those arrested said Greek police had simply rounded up everyone who had visited the club that night, irrespective of whether they had been involved or even there at the time of the brawl.
Those already detained, including the main suspect, also British, are expected to be brought before a public prosecutor soon.