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Swiss anti-globalisation protesters arrested in Genoa

Violence erupted on the streets of Genoa on the second day of the G8 summit


Police in the Italian city of Genoa, venue for the G8 summit of leading industrialised nations and Russia, have arrested at least 76 anti-globalisation protesters, including two Swiss citizens.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Genoa on Saturday as police used tear gas and water cannons to keep protesters away from the summit building.

By late afternoon, 66 protesters, seven police and four journalists were reported to have been injured.

In Switzerland, anti-globalisation protesters targeted an Italian tourist office in the city of Zurich late on Friday night using a firebomb, in retaliation for what they called the "heavy-handed intervention" of Italian riot police at the G8 summit in Genoa.

In a fax to Swiss news agencies, a group calling itself "For a revolutionary perspective" said it had carried out the attack, adding that it was "a contribution to the protests going on in Genoa."

A window of the tourist office was smashed in the attack, but no further damage to the building has been reported.

The G8 summit has been overshadowed by news of the death of an Italian anti-globalisation protester during a street battle with police on Friday.

It is the first fatality in a series of large-scale demonstrations that have been staged by anti-globalisation protesters over the last two years.

The Italian interior minister, Claudio Scajola, said the Italian man was "hit by a bullet, presumably fired in self-defence by one of the injured police officers."

In a joint statement issued late on Friday, summit leaders expressed regret for the death and condemned the violence.

The Italian authorities have said they are considering whether to charge a police officer with manslaughter in connection with the shooting of the protester.

swissinfo with agencies

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