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Extra security forces in Istanbul as protesters return to Taksim Square


Turkey

Extra security forces in Istanbul as protesters return to Taksim Square

Hundreds of protesters have continued pouring into Istanbul on Sunday morning, heading for Taksim Square, despite police efforts to deter them.

Extra security forces have been brought in to back up riot police as the city braces itself for more violent confrontations.

Around 500 to 600 people have occupied the central Bosphorous bridge, closing it off to traffic.

Overnight, armoured vehicles sealed off Taksim Square, as police stormed neighbouring Gezi Park to evict protesters.

As police moved in, protesters fled into a hotel at the back of the park, several of them vomiting, as tear gas and blasts from what witnesses said were percussion bombs -designed to create confusion rather than injure – engulfed the park.

Witnesses say that hundreds of people were left injured.

“If you go down on the street you will see hundreds of wounded people. There is nobody to take care of them and there is no (health) equipment,” one protester said.

Meanwile, a pro-government rally is planned in Istanbul on Sunday.

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