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Hamburg Protests Rage as G20 Leaders Meet

Hamburg Protests Rage as G20 Leaders MeetHamburg Protests Rage as G20 Leaders Meet

Fires burned across Hamburg for a second day as police and protesters clashed while the leaders of the world’s top economies met for the G20 summit.

Police said at least 196 officers have been injured in clashes, with 83 protesters temporarily detained at the scene and 19 taken into custody. Dozens of protesters have also been injured, Al Jazeera reported.

On Friday, the day the summit kicked off, some protesters torched cars and trucks, looted retail stores, lit off firecrackers and blasted music from Jimi Hendrix in a bid to drown out the classical music playing at a concert hall where world leaders met.

Thousands are protesting capitalism, climate polices and globalization, among other issues.

Police used water cannon and tear gas to try to disperse protesters as reinforcements poured in from across the country to aid Hamburg police.

The protests marred a gathering that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had hoped would demonstrate her country’s unshakeable commitment to freedom of speech and assembly.

“I have every understanding for peaceful demonstrations but violent demonstrations put human lives in danger,” she said.

Participants in the G20 meeting praised the work of police in keeping the event safe but said they had never seen protesters closer to such a summit than in Hamburg.

In the touristy Pferdemarkt area, activists faced off against police in riot gear who were unable to put out fires, with billowing thick smoke dramatically reducing visibility.

Marine police units intercepted 22 divers from the environmental pressure group Greenpeace who had also been trying to reach the concert hall, police said.

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