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Last Updated: Friday, 2 March 2007, 14:23 GMT
Danish police expect more clashes
Demonstrators set fire to barricades
Protesters set fire to makeshift barricades on Thursday
Police in Denmark are braced for more violence after the eviction of squatters from a youth centre in the capital Copenhagen.

At least 217 people were arrested on Thursday after clashes around the Youth House (Ungdomshuset) building in the Noerrebro district.

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has condemned the rioters.

Left-wing activists have occupied the building since 1982 but it was sold by the local council in 2000.

Large numbers of police officers are patrolling the districts of Noerrebro and the famous hippy enclave of Christiania. Reinforcements from other parts of Denmark have been called in, as the authorities anticipate more violence.

The prime minister told the Danish news agency Ritzau: "It is utterly reprehensible that a few trouble-makers continue to create disorder."

Map of Copenhagen

A Christian group called Faderhuset bought the Ungdomshuset, now a cause celebre in Denmark, in 2001.

It had a court order to have the squatters evicted but they vowed not to leave saying the council had no right to sell the building while it was still in use.

Thursday's operation to evict the squatters began at about 0700 (0600 GMT) and ended in scenes described by Danish media as a war zone.

Police in riot gear blocked the streets as an anti-terror squad dropped from helicopters onto the building's roof in a dawn raid.

Youths then gathered behind protest lines, yelling at police and throwing missiles.

Riots spread

The violence later spread to towards Christiania.

About 25 people were injured following the eviction of the 35 squatters.

Among those arrested were foreigners from France, Germany, Norway, Poland, Lithuania, New Zealand and the US.

There were further protests by sympathisers of the activists outside Danish diplomatic missions in Germany, Sweden, Norway and Austria.

Last December, a protest in Copenhagen against the eviction plans turned violent, and more than 300 people were arrested.

Danish police arrest hundreds
17 Dec 06 |  Europe
Country profile: Denmark
12 Dec 06 |  Country profiles

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