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Police injured in clashes with protesters at G8

Anti-capitalist protesters clashed with police on Wednesday, injuring eight, as they tried to blockade routes to a summit of major powers in northern Germany.

Police used water cannons to push back demonstrators. Delegates from several Group of Eight (G8) countries said the protests were limiting their ability to move around at the summit venue, a seaside resort on Germany’s Baltic coast.

Eight officers were injured during the clashes with protesters near the town of Bad Doberan, police spokesperson Luedger Behrens said. Police ”used water cannons twice after demonstrators bombarded police with stones”, he said.

Police said 15 protesters had been detained.

Protesters in the Bad Doberan area were trying to block access to a luxury hotel on the coast in Heiligendamm where G8 leaders, including United States President George Bush, were gathering.

”We’re stuck here now. The whole place looks shut down,” an official from one of the delegations said by telephone from inside the summit venue.

Akie Abe, wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was forced to cancel a planned tour of the nearby Baltic resort town of Kuehlungsborn on Wednesday because of the demonstrations, Japan’s Foreign Ministry said.

Dozens of protesters blocked an historic steam train being used to shuttle journalists between the summit venue and the media centre in Kuehlungsborn.

Organisers tried to arrange a boat transfer along the coast for the journalists as an alternative, but protesters briefly blocked access to that as well.

Behrens said roughly 10 000 demonstrators were violating a ban on demonstrations in the area and risked being detained.

About 16 000 security personnel are in the area. World leaders are shielded from thousands of demonstrators by a 12km fence topped with barbed wire.

Several hooded and masked protesters had clippers and were cutting through barbed wire police had laid near the fence.

A German court handed down jail sentences to several protesters who clashed with police on Saturday in the nearby city of Rostock where police said almost 1 000 people were injured when a rally turned violent.

A German man and a Spaniard were found guilty of attempted grievous bodily harm and disturbing the peace and sentenced to nine months in prison without parole, a court spokesperson said.

A Pole was given a 6-month suspended sentence while another Spaniard was given a 10-month jail sentence. — Reuters

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Erik Kirschbaum
Erik Kirschbaum works from Berlin. Author, Journalist & Executive Director of non-profit German-American exchange program RIAS. Latest book: "Soccer Without Borders" about Juergen Klinsmann. Erik Kirschbaum has over 1009 followers on Twitter.

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