Attempted murder probes over German May Day clashes

4th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

Organisers said at least 136 people were injured, of whom more than 50 had to be hospitalised.

Berlin -- Four people detained during the worst May Day violence in Germany for years are facing charges of attempted murder for brutal clashes with police in Berlin, prosecutors said Sunday.

The suspects, who are in custody, were detained along with 289 people after riots erupted in the capital late Friday after the traditional Labour Day rallies.

A spokesman for the Berlin prosecutor's office said the four were under investigation for attempted murder after allegedly hurling explosives at police officers in the left-leaning Kreuzberg district in the early hours of Saturday.

Young demonstrators tossed missiles and set fire to cars and bins at a protest called by a far-left group in Berlin.

Organisers said at least 136 people were injured, of whom more than 50 had to be hospitalised.

Police chief Dieter Glietsch told reporters Saturday that 273 of his officers had been wounded in Friday's clashes, more than twice last year's number.

Arrest warrants were issued for a total of 44 people stemming from the unrest in Berlin, which officials had warned could flare as Europe's largest economy suffers its deepest slump since World War II.

Meanwhile almost half a million people assembled at mainly peaceful rallies across Germany on Friday, unions said.

AFP/Expatica

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