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Saturday, 15 December, 2001, 18:15 GMT
New protests mar EU summit
An anarchist throws a petrol bomb at police blocking a bridge
Police blocked a bridge on the path of the marchers
Protesters threw petrol bombs at police in a second day of violent demonstrations in Brussels held to coincide with the EU summit at a royal palace in the city's outskirts.

here were quite a few arrests... but we are getting off fairly well

Brussels mayor, Freddy Thielemans
Police said 39 people were detained, and that 10 of them were charged with possessing bottles and petrol used to make molotov cocktails.

Correspondents say the protesters included anti-capitalists and right-wing groups.

There were three separate demonstrations, one of which, a "march for peace" condemning European military involvement in Afghanistan, passed off peacefully.

Vandals 'identified'

Cars and buildings were vandalised, as they had been on Friday, when police fired tear gas and used water cannons.

Anti-capitalist protester
Anti-capitalists were among those protesting on Saturday
Friday's violence was the first of its kind at an international summit since the 11 September attacks.

Demonstrations outside the EU's Ghent summit in October were largely peaceful.

"There were quite a few arrests... but we are getting off fairly well," Brussels mayor Freddy Thielemans said on Saturday.

He said riot police moved in on one march after identifying several protesters who took part in vandalism on Thursday and Friday.


On both days the events occurred far from the summit venue, the royal palace at Laeken.

Protester provokes police
Water cannons were used on Friday in freezing temperatures
On Friday 40 German activists were detained, of whom four were charged with attacking police officers and destroying public property.

Two police were injured by projectiles fired from slingshots.

Belgian police have been out in force in an attempt to prevent the kind of violence seen at summits earlier this year in Gothenburg and Genoa, both of which resulted in a death.

The largest demonstration, organised on Thursday by European trade unions, and attended by an estimated 80,000 people, was free of violence.

Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency until the end of the year, met some protesters on Thursday to say the summit had received their message "loud and clear".

The BBC's Janet Barrie
"The first flashes of violent protest in Europe since September 11"
See also:

14 Dec 01 | UK
UK talks on Afghan troops
12 Dec 01 | Europe
Prodi demands action not words
11 Dec 01 | Europe
Italy U-turn on arrest warrant
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