Italian police fire teargas at protesters in Rome

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 15, 2011 11:24 AM
Italian police fire teargas at protesters in Rome

By Catherine Hornby

ROME (Reuters) - Italian police fired teargas and water cannon to disperse demonstrators in Rome Saturday, some of whom had set fire to cars, broke shop and bank windows and clashed with officers during a protest against global economic policies.

Witnesses said the violence was caused by several dozen hooded radicals known as "black blocs," who infiltrated the demonstration.

At least one person was injured and taken to hospital.

Four cars were set on fire and the windows of several banks and shops were smashed along the route of the protest, one of many staged around the world Saturday to show solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States.

One building caught fire after the flames spread from a car, witnesses said.

Near the Colosseum, protesters clashed with police, hurling bottles and rocks. Police in riot gear fired teargas canisters.

The protesters also entered offices belonging to the Italian defense ministry and trashed them, the news agency Ansa said.

On another street near the Colosseum, police fired water canon and charged violent demonstrators who had hurled rocks, bottles and fireworks at them.

(Reporting By Philip Pullella)