Rail construction protests leave some 200 injured in northern Italy

Some 200 people, mainly police officers, were injured on Sunday in clashes at a rally against the planned construction of a high-speed railway link in northern Italy’s Val di Susa, the Il Messaggero newspaper said on its website.

The rally, organized by the No Tav movement, gathered some 50,000 participants. Some 6,000 police were deployed in the area.

A total of 188 police and several dozens protestors received injuries of varying degrees. Five people were detained.

Italian president Giorgio Napolitano strongly condemned the violence.

“What happened in the Val di Susa, which must be blamed on groups trained to carry out violent subversive actions, must be strongly condemned by all institutions and democratic political factions,” the AGI news agency quoted the president as saying in a statement.

“We can’t tolerate that legitimate and peaceful expressions of dissent by citizens and families are joined by external militarized squads willing to carry out unacceptable aggressive actions against the police units deployed to enforce the law,” Napolitano said.

The previous rally against the project, which took place in late June, also turned violent and left some 80 people injured.

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