June 9, 2007 / 2:23 PM / 11 years ago

Berlin police scuffle with protesters after G8

(Updates with protest aftermath, poll)

By Erik Kirschbaum

BERLIN, June 9 (Reuters) - German police scuffled with anti-G8 demonstrators at an impromptu protest in Berlin late on Friday, several hours after the Group of Eight summit in Heiligendamm ended, police said on Saturday.

Stones and bottles were thrown at riot police during the three-hour demonstration in central Berlin, although most of the 600 protesters returning home from Heiligendamm were peaceful, a police spokesman said. Six were detained and five arrested.

Eight cars were also set on fire in the city overnight and the windows of four others smashed. More than 70 luxury cars have been set on fire in Berlin this year by suspected anti-globalisation activists.

"Most arrests were for breaching the peace and disorderly conduct," a police spokeswoman said. German network N-TV showed pictures of riot police tackling and striking demonstrators.

Earlier in the week 30,000 demonstrators succeeded in evading police controls and entering a restricted zone set up for the summit around Heiligendamm, 250 km (150 miles) north of Berlin.

They blocked land routes into the village for three days before leaving on Friday afternoon at the end of the summit.

A police official in the nearby city of Rostock said a total of 1,057 anti-G8 demonstrators had been detained during the week, and 125 had been formally arrested.

There were 17,800 police providing security for the summit, and 43 police helicopters. A total of 443 police were injured, 43 of them seriously. The fire brigade was called in 642 times.

The summit security cost 118 million euros ($158 million).

A poll to be published in Focus magazine on Monday found that 51 percent of Germans believed the G8 summit should be held in secret locations in the future to avoid demonstrators and reduce security costs.

German Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul told Bild am Sonntag newspaper a G8 summit should be held in Africa.

"It’s worth considering," she said. "The problems of the world would be more visible for everyone."

Heiligendamm, population 298, reopened to the public on Saturday and dismantling work begun on a 2.5-metre (8-foot) high security fence that cost 12 million euros ($16 million).

It will be sold. Zoos, airports and farmers have made bids, according to German media reports.




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