CzechRep sees toughest clash of police, far-rightists since 2000
Hundreds of policemen today clashed with supporters of the Czech far-right Workers' Party (DS) near a Romany-inhabited vicinity in Litvinov, probably the toughest similar clash since 2000 when riots accompanied the world financial institutions' session in Prague.
The extremists finally failed in their effort to invade Janov, a local housing estate with mainly Romany inhabitants.
The crowd of about 500 ultra-right wingers was faced by 1,000 police with heavy equipment, a helicopter and water cannons.
Fourteen people suffered injuries, seven officers and seven demonstrators, according to preliminary information.
The police have reportedly detained three extremists.
This was another clash between the far-right wingers and the police in Litvinov in the past month. On October 18, an unauthorised rally of the DS extremists developed into their brawl with some 300 policemen.
DS followers, coming from both Litvinov and elsewhere in the Czech Republic, gathered in Litvinov at noon today.
After a rally with speeches, including anti-Romany and anti-government utterances, several hundred extremists set off for Janov.
The police blocked further 300 extremists at the railway station in the nearby town of Most.
Checks of the extremists' cars uncovered dozens of weapons.
The toughest clash between the police and the demonstrators occurred around 15:30 near the Janov vicinity where the police barred the extremists' way.
To stop the marching radicals the police used heavy equipment, horseback officers, tear gas and pyrotechnic devices.
The extremists threw cobblestones and Molotov cocktails. They set a police car on fire. After a while they dispersed in surrounding streets. The police pursued them.
Local Romanies, against whom the demonstration march was aimed, did not interfere in the clash.
They held a protest meeting against the planned far-right demonstration in the morning today.
The Interior Ministry recently proposed that the DS, an extra-parliamentary party, be banned. Interior Minister Ivan Langer labelled the DS extremist.
Apart from Litvinov, about 50 ultra-right wingers marched through Koprivnice, north Moravia this evening. The march had not been permitted by authorities.
Wearing black uniforms, the participants chanted the slogan "Defence and nation." The police monitored the rally, which ended without any incident.
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