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Three protesters shot at EU summit

protest
Thousands of protesters gathered outside the summit venue  


GOTHENBURG, Sweden -- One of the three shot when anti-globalisation protesters battled riot police remains in a critical condition.

More than 40 police and demonstrators were injured. Police arrested at least 100 of the thousands of protesters.

CNN's Peter Humi said police had confirmed officers had opened fire on protesters after they said a police officer had been badly injured in the head from an object thrown by demonstrators.

The incident came at the end of the first day of the two-day European Union summit in the Swedish city.

VIDEO
See the protesters clash with police in the streets of Gothenburg, Sweden, on Friday (June 15)

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CNN's Christiane Amanpour reports on how Bush's rejection of the Kyoto Protocol is playing in Europe (June 14)

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CNN's Robin Oakley identifies obstacles for EU enlargement
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CNN's Robin Oakley examines the outcome of Bush's meeting at the EU summit
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 IN-DEPTH
EU Summit - Gothenburg, Sweden
  •  Pushing ahead on Kyoto
  •  Three shot in protest
  •  EU reassures applicants
  •  Expansion tops agenda
  •  EU, applicants at odds
  •  Protests hit Bush tour
  •  EU faces thorny issues
  •  Bush charm drive fails
  •  Damage-control summit
  •  Irish defeat looms
  •  What kind of Europe?
  •  Key leaders' views
  •  History of EU growth
  •  EU enlargement map
  •  Changing face of Europe
 

Around 12 police officers were among the injured as police skirmished with protesting groups in an effort to keep them away from the convention center where 15 EU leaders were meeting.

Plumes of smoke rose over the fashionable Kungsports Avenyn as masked anarchists methodically vandalised shop windows, piled tables and chairs from sidewalk cafes into makeshift barricades and set them ablaze. Some stores were looted.

Protesters hurled paving-stones and firecrackers at police, who responded with baton charges. Some mounted police were dragged from their horses.

At times the protesters were less than one kilometre from the site of the summit, but other than forcing the cancellation of a dinner in a posh Gothenburg site, the summit has been largely unaffected by the violence and the protests.

As many as 12,000 protesters have staged demonstrations throughout the streets in the port city, while as many as 2,000 extra police were brought in for the summit and for the visit of U.S. President George W. Bush.

Swedish Justice Minister Thomas Bodstrom said at least two of the people who had been shot were anti-capitalist protesters.

Bodstrom denied police had lost control but said the violence by hundreds of anarchists was the most difficult challenge Sweden's security forces had ever faced.

"Many of the rioters came from other countries with the intention of disrupting the summit," he said.

Barricaded in a heavily guarded conference center, the 15 EU leaders condemned the anti-capitalist riots, which have dogged international gatherings since the 1999 World Trade Organisation conference in Seattle.

Five summit delegations were forced to move out of a central hotel because police said they could not guarantee their safety.

The mayhem overshadowed the day's EU business, which centred on the bloc's ambitious plans to admit up to 12 ex-communist and Mediterranean countries over the next few years.

In a park near Goteborg University, rioters smashed the windows of police vans and hurled rocks, cans and other debris at helmeted police, some mounted on horses.

The clashes were believed to be sparked by a small minority of the estimated 25,000 protesters who converged on the city for the summit.





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