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G-20 protesters block roads, set cars on fire in Hamburg

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - 19:00

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Protesters sought to prevent access to the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, setting cars on fire and blocking a main artery leading to the congress center.

[HAMBURG] Protesters sought to prevent access to the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, setting cars on fire and blocking a main artery leading to the congress center.

German television on Friday showed several cars burning in the Altona area and about 100 demonstrators sitting on the street that US President Donald Trump is set to use to reach the gathering.

Police said on Twitter that several intersections in the city are being blocked and warned that they would not tolerate such actions.

The protests and extreme security have made transit through Germany's second-largest city nearly impossible and police said that residents should use public transport to get through Hamburg.

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Friday's action followed a clash on Thursday night when police deployed water cannon and pepper spray to break up a march after about 1,000 people belonging to an anarchist group refused to remove their masks.

The march in the St Pauli district, a bastion of left-wing activity for decades, was cancelled by the organisers after moving only a short distance. A number of people were injured.

With helicopters hovering overhead and armoured vehicles patrolling the streets, the center of the city of 1.7 million is largely at a standstill and many businesses have closed their doors.

Large demonstrations are also planned for Friday evening and Saturday, with German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere estimating that the number of protesters prepared to use violence stands at about 8,000.

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