HAMBURG, Germany — Protesters clashed with police, torched patrol cars and blocked roads in the German city of Hamburg on Friday in fresh violence just before the start of the G20 summit, police said.
“An operation is under way against violent individuals” who threw petrol bombs and set fire to patrol cars near a police station in the city’s Altona district, federal police said on Twitter.
In the west of the city, a “plume of black smoke” was rising, and cars in some areas had been set alight, the local Hamburg police said separately.
Police said demonstrators had blocked several intersections and so-called transfer corridors — roads designated to help delegations move between meetings.
On Thursday, a planned peaceful march by around 12,000 people protesting against globalization turned violent.
At least 76 police officers were injured, a Hamburg police spokesman told AFP.
Friday’s clashes occurred as leaders from the world’s 20 biggest developed and emerging economies were to begin a two-day meeting focusing on trade, terrorism, climate change and other key global issues.
Hamburg, a vibrant port city, is a citadel of leftwing radicals and authorities have long been bracing for possible violence on the sidelines of the summit.
The German police officers’ union GdP on Friday hit out at anarchist groups called the Black Blocks, accusing them of “hijacking peaceful demonstrations by tens of thousands of people to deliberately attack” police.
The Group of 20 leaders’ summit was getting underway Friday with terrorism, global trade and climate change among the issues on the agenda.
The host, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said she hoped to find “compromises and answers” on a range of issues at the two-day meeting of leading industrial and developing nations. While there’s little disagreement on fighting terrorism, prospects of finding common ground on climate change and trade look uncertain.
The G20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, France, Britain, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
Also attending the summit are the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Guinea, Senegal, Singapore and Vietnam.