Swiss police fire rubber bullets at Davos demo
Swiss police fired rubber bullets on Saturday to disperse a crowd of masked anti-globalisation protesters who attempted to disrupt the World Economic Forum conference in Davos.
Around 120 demonstrators braved freezing temperatures and a huge security cordon around the high-altitude Alpine resort to approach the meeting, the year's biggest networking event for the global business elite.
"The demonstration was largely peaceful. There were some scuffles and small-scale vandalism, but no one was hurt," a police spokesman told AFP.
Police officers with riot helmets and shields fired several rubber rounds and used low-pressure water hoses as they broke up the protest. Demonstrators responded with snow balls and lumps of ice.
At least one press photographer was hit by rubber bullets, but AFP journalists did not see anyone seriously hurt in the incident, which took place a few hundred metres away from the conference venue.
Davos, which has hosted the annual shindig for more than four decades, is high in the Alps and hard to reach. More than 5,000 soldiers have reinforced the police to secure the event and trouble has been rare.
On Thursday, a small home-made explosive device -- the forum described it as a firework packed with sugar -- exploded in a hotel housing conference guests. No one was hurt and a protest group claimed responsibility in the local press.
© 2011 AFP