March for Poland’s independence day goes out of control

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Polish police have fired rubber bullets and tear gas to break up violent clashes during an independence day march in the capital Warsaw.

A number of people were injured during the annual rally organised by far-right and nationalist movements.

The violence started when groups of youths broke off from the main march to attack a squat and set fires to cars.

They also set ablaze a rainbow-coloured arch symbolising tolerance, and tried to attack the Russian embassy.

The protesters – many of them wearing masks – threw firecrackers at the diplomatic mission. Several youths also tried to scale the building’s fence but were stopped by the police.

“There is no justification for hooliganism,” Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman Marcin Wojciechowski said.

The authorities also said that at least four police officers were among those injured during the violence.

Thousands of people took part in the main march, which began noisily but peacefully. They carried white-and-red Polish flags and chanted: “God, honour, fatherland!

A rainbow art installation burns in Warsaw. Photo: 11 November 2013

Riot policemen form a cordon around the Russian embassy in Warsaw. Photo: 11 November 2013

 

 

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