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Berlin police arrest hundreds, disband protest against coronavirus curbs

Berlin: Berlin police broke up a mass protest against coronavirus curbs on Saturday and arrested 300 in the German capital after demonstrators failed to keep their distance and wear masks as instructed.

Around 38,000 protesters gathered for events across the city and police reported pockets of unrest, as infections rise in Europe and public frustration at measures to contain the virus grows. Similar events took place in Paris, London and elsewhere on Saturday.

Coronavirus skeptics and right-wing extremists march in protest against coronavirus-related restrictions and government policy in Berlin.

Coronavirus skeptics and right-wing extremists march in protest against coronavirus-related restrictions and government policy in Berlin.Credit:Getty Images

“Unfortunately, we have no other option,” Berlin police said on Twitter, adding that those taking part had failed to comply with the safety conditions of the march.

At a demonstration close to Brandenburg Gate, several thousand were still gathered by early evening, some throwing rocks and bottles. Police arrested around 200 protesters, Berlin’s interior minister Andreas Geisel said, describing the group as “extremist”. Seven police were injured.

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