Lithuanian protest turns violent

  • 2009-01-16
  • TBT Staff

VILNIUS - What began as a peaceful protest near the Lithuanian parliament building has turned violent as protesters clash with police.

The Baltic Times estimates that at least 5,000 people attended the protest, which was aimed at expressing discontent over the government's failure to address the worsening economic situation in the country. The protest began at noon and erupted into violence at about 1:30 p.m.

Preliminary reports indicate that one officer has been hospitalized and three protesters have been detained. Police have reportedly been forced to use violence to subdue some of the protesters.

Protesters who were initially pushed away from the parliament reportedly returned to attempt  to storm the building again, but were again rebuffed by police.

Police have now largely subdued the protesters and put an end to the violence.

Though the protest began as a peaceful demonstration, a group of protesters soon began throwing snowballs, rocks and glass bottles and attempting to break into the parliament building. Approximately 300 police were in attendance.

Officers have deployed tear gas and shot rubber bullets to help keep the protesters at bay.

The violent protest came just days after a similar protest in Riga turned into a riot, injuring numerous people and causing thousands of euros in damages.

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