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Protesters’ Molotov cocktails vs police tear gas in Romania (VIDEO)

Published time: January 15, 2012 12:19
Edited time: January 15, 2012 19:01

Protesters clash with riot police on University Square in Bucharest on January 14, 2012 during a protest against the government's austerity program and Romanian President Traian Basescu (AFP Photo / DANIEL MIHAILESCU)

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Romanian police fired tear gas and protesters responded with stones and Molotov cocktails during an anti-government protest on Saturday in Bucharest. An unauthorized rally has been staged against proposed health care reforms.

More than 1,000 protesters rallied in Bucharest's main University Square, blocking traffic, Associated Press reports. Protesters yelled anti-government slogans and called for early elections. They have been waving a Romanian flag with a ripped out center, symbolizing the 1989 anti-communist revolution.

Seven hours later they still refused to leave and clashed with riot police, who then used tear gas. As a result nine people have been injured, among them a TV journalist, who has been injured by a stone thrown by a protester, said local authorities. One police officer sustained head injuries after he was hit by stones.

Police detained 29 people, including soccer hooligans with a previous police record for acts of violence and for disturbing public order.

This was the fourth consecutive day of demonstrations in Romania and the second in the capital against austerity cuts and falling living standards.

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