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Protesters fight running battles with police during May Day march

Police and anti-capitalist protesters have clashed on the streets of Zurich during the annual May Day march. Riot police used water cannon, tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse up to 1,000 protesters who went on the rampage through the city.

Police and anti-capitalist protesters have clashed on the streets of Zurich during the annual May Day march.

Riot police used water cannon, tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse up to 1,000 anti-capitalist protesters who went on the rampage, hurling bottles and stones, burning rubbish, and vandalising cars and shops.

Six police officers were injured and at least 38 people were arrested, following the annual May Day march. Police said officers were pelted with stones and bottles, as the streets in the centre of town descended into chaos.

Swissinfo's Zurich correspondent, Michael Hollingdale, said the violence was caused by groups of anarchists and left-wing demonstrators, intent on disrupting the march.

Large numbers of riot police had been deployed beforehand, and finally managed to restore order by early evening.

The main march, which took place earlier in the day, passed off peacefully. It was mainly attended by trade unionists demanding an increase in the minimum wage, as well as Tamil protesters and Kurdish separatists.

swissinfo with agencies

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