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Police raids after Rome violence during weekend protests

media A masked protestor in Rome during violent street protests over the weekend REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Hundreds of Italian police on Monday carried out raids and checks of far left groups after scores of people were injured in Rome's worst street violence in years. Tens of thousands took to the streets of the Italian capital for a march on Saturday that turned violent as protesters torched cars, smashed up banks and set fire to a military building.


Clashes between protesters and police left around 135 injured including 105 officers while damage to public property was estimated at around one million euros.

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Interior Minister Roberto Maroni condemned the "unprecedented violence" and thanked law enforcement for ensuring there were no fatalities.

The weekend clashes were the worst in Rome since the violent and sometimes deadly confrontations pitting political militants from both the far left and the far right against security forces during a period known as the "Years of Lead" in the 1970s and 1980s.

The protests were inspired by the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement in the United States and the ‘Indignants’ in Spain, targeting 951 cities in 82 countries across the planet in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas.

Protests were also staged in Amsterdam, Athens, Brussels, Geneva, Paris, Sarajevo and Zurich. Thousands also rallied across Canada and in New York and Washington, where they protested outside the White House and the US Treasury.

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