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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 March 2007, 08:37 GMT
Extra police calm Danish rioting
Burned cars in Copenhagen
Rioting in Copenhagen has led to more than 600 arrests

Unrest has continued in the Danish capital, Copenhagen, for a third night but a heavy police presence has prevented any serious violence.

Fires were lit at a number of locations but protests in the Noerrebro and Christiania districts were dispersed.

About 50 arrests were made overnight, bringing to more than 600 those held since the unrest began on Thursday.

The riots started after an anti-terror squad raid to evict squatters from the Youth House (Ungdomshuset) building.

Text messages

In the worst clash on Saturday night more than 30 people were arrested near the enclave of Christiania after protesters built and then lit barricades.

Molotov cocktails were thrown in a protest in Noerrebro but it was quelled by the heavy police presence.

Map of Copenhagen

Police had been reinforced from other districts and had brought in security vans from Sweden.

There had been fears of major disturbances as protest organisers tried to rally supporters through text messages.

Police spokesman Lars Borg said: "We are very happy that the situation was so quiet. The people who want to demonstrate have been more... aware that the things they are doing are not the right things to do."

Police said they arrested about 100 activists in raids on houses, schools and hostels. About half were foreigners who police said would be expelled.

Earlier on Saturday, 2,000 people attended a peaceful demonstration.

Left-wing activists have occupied the youth centre in the Noerrebro district since 1982, but it was sold by the city in 2000 to a Christian fundamentalist group.

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

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

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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