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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 March 2007, 06:43 GMT
Danish protests spark 100 arrests
A protester runs past a fire during clashes in Copenhagen
Activists clashed with police for a second night in Copenhagen

Police in Denmark have arrested about 100 people during a second night of protests over the eviction of squatters from a youth centre in the capital.

Officers in riot gear used tear gas to disperse demonstrators, as cars were set alight and petrol bombs thrown.

The clashes have centred on the Youth House (Ungdomshuset) building in the Noerrebro district of Copenhagen.

Left-wing activists have occupied the building since 1982 but it was sold by the city in 2000 to a Christian group.

The group, called Faderhuset, obtained a court eviction order - but the activists vowed not to leave, saying the council had no right to sell the building while it was still in use.

'Dramatic evening'

Hundreds of police officers were deployed in Copenhagen's Noerrebro district and the enclave of Christiana on Friday in an attempt to prevent renewed violence.

Map of Copenhagen

But trouble broke out in the early hours of Saturday, when demonstrators barricaded streets, set several cars on fire and threw stones and petrol bombs, police said.

Police spokesman Flemming Steen Munch said at least 100 people had been arrested in the Noerrebro and Christianshavn districts.

"It has been a dramatic evening," he said, quoted by the Associated Press news agency.

He warned that further violence could flare up over the weekend, when two authorised demonstrations are due to take place. Extra police have been drafted into the capital.

Jan, a spokesman for the youth centre, told Reuters news agency that activists planned to disrupt traffic.

He said: "The struggle will continue for a long time. As long as there is no Youth House in Copenhagen, there will be a fight to get one."

'War zone'

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has condemned the rioters.

Demonstrators set fire to barricades
Protesters set fire to makeshift barricades on Thursday

Thursday's operation to evict the squatters resulted in some 217 arrests, injuries to 25 people and scenes described by the 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.

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.

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In pictures: Danish riots
03 Mar 07 |  In Pictures
Danish police arrest hundreds
17 Dec 06 |  Europe
Country profile: Denmark
12 Dec 06 |  Country profiles

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