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Protests turn violent in Rome

Police fired teargas and water cannons at violent protesters in Rome on Saturday.

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Protests in Rome turned violent on Saturday. (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Italian police started firing teargas and using water cannons to break up the protesters that have started setting cars on fire and breaking store windows in Rome, Reuters reports.

As thousands of people joined the Occupy Wall Street protests globally on Saturday, the crowd became violent, clashing with police in some of the worst violence to hit Rome in years, Reuters reports.

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Heavy smoke filled the air as protesters in downtown Rome caused chaos in the streets close to the Colosseum, AP reports.

Police repeatedly fired teargas and water cannons in an attempt to disperse the crowds, leaving dozens injured, the Associated Press reports. At some points the crowds began throwing rocks, bottles and fireworks at police, who responded by charging the protesters, Reuters reports. At least 30 policeman were injured according to Reuters.

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According to the BBC, protesters started out peacefully on Saturday until militants dressed in black joined the crowd and started destroying property. The protesters retaliated against the militants, shouting “No to violence!” BBC reports.

Italian cities joined the now global protest due to discontent over high unemployment and raised taxes and cost of health care, Reuters reports.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/italy/111015/protests-turn-violent-rome