92 Germans held in Polish Independence Day clashes

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Ninety-two Germans were among 210 people arrested by Polish police after clashes during Independence Day rallies in Warsaw that left dozens of people hurt, police said Saturday.

"They were aggressive towards passers-by and when surrounded by the police they were aggressive towards the officers," police spokesman Maciej Karczynski told AFP.

"They were arrested."

Other foreigners detained during Friday's violence included a Dane, a Hungarian and a Spaniard, according to the police.

Officers in full riot gear, bearing shields and truncheons, used tear gas and water cannons on rival groups of demonstrators, as masked protesters hurled rocks and bottles back at them.

Those injured included 40 policemen.

Several thousand right-wing nationalists and football fans were opposed by about the same number of anarchists, anti-Nazi and gay-rights activists as they tried to stage a march in central Warsaw.

The right-wingers destroyed at least three police vans and two television vehicles in a rampage.

Official ceremonies marking 93 years since Poland regained independence were held across the ex-communist EU member of 38 million.

In Warsaw, President Bronislaw Komorowski honoured fallen veterans by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during official state ceremonies.

Visiting Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite also paid her respects.

Polish troops at the ceremonies paraded in vintage-design uniforms dating from the 1918-1920 battle for independence.

The Republic of Poland was reborn November 11, 1918 after having been wiped off the map of Europe for 123 years in a three-way carve-up between Tsarist Russia, Prussia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

© 2011 AFP

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