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Italy anti-austerity protesters clash with police in Rome

19/10/13 21:06 CET

Demonstrators clashed with police in Rome after a march against unemployment, government cuts and big-ticket construction projects descended into pitch battles.

Hooded protesters outside Italy’s Ministry of Finance threw smoke bombs, eggs and bottles, overturning waste bins and setting them on fire.

Police in riot gear charged protesters, detaining a number of them.

Organisers estimate that around 70,000 people joined the march. Demonstrators held up banners and placards against unemployment, a lack of affordable housing and a planned high speed rail link to France.

On Friday 14 people were detained when police confiscated baseball bats, a knife and helmets.

At least 4,000 police officers were on duty for the protest.

Several shops on the route of the march were shuttered in case of violence.

After a transport strike, a number of demonstrators had camped out overnight in the centre of the city.

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