More than 80 arrested after Hamburg clashes

6th July 2009, Comments 0 comments

About 1,000 people, some clad in black and sporting sunglasses, had clashed with about 1,800 policemen deployed to pre-empt violence during an annual street party.

Berlin -- German police arrested more than 80 far-left anarchists in Hamburg who went on a violence spree overnight injuring 27 police officers, the police said Sunday.

Those detained were held for "arson and throwing stones and bottles at policemen, wilful damage and rebellion," a statement said. Three policemen had to be hospitalised after the melee in Hamburg's Schanze quarter.

About 1,000 people, some clad in black and sporting sunglasses, had clashed with about 1,800 policemen deployed to pre-empt violence during an annual street party. They set fire to a police car and several trash cans.

The police used water cannon and batons against the attackers.

A police spokesman said the attackers "were young isolated elements but there was no central organisation", adding that the potential for violence had been higher this year as many participants had Molotov cocktails and set up barricades.

"We will continue to fight with a strong police force these extremists who pose a threat to democracy," said Hamburg's secretary for the interior Christoph Ahlhaus, terming the clashes as "riots and disorder, nothing else".

Similar clashes in Hamburg on May 1 saw the arrest of 23 people.

Germany's federal interior ministry says there were about 6,000 members of the far left who are prone to carrying out acts of violence. Last year they were held responsible for 701 such attacks.

AFP/Expatica

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