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Protesters swarm Istanbul square after clashes

Updated: 2013-06-02 11:34
( Agencies)
ISTANBUL - About 5,000 protesters attacked Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office with stones in Istanbul on Saturday night, leaving at least seven policemen injured.

An eyewitness said that fury protesters attacked the office of Erdogan in Besiktas on the European shore of the Bosporus and some windows were broken.

Protesters swarm Istanbul square after clashes

Riot police use tear gas to disperse the crowd during an anti-government protest at Taksim Square in central Istanbul, May 31, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

Protesters swarm Istanbul square after clashes

Riot police use a water canon to restrain a protester during an anti-government protest at Taksim Square in central Istanbul, May 31, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

Special police forces rushed to the scene and used tear gas and high-pressured water gun to disperse the protesters. At least seven policemen were injured, including one seriously during the clashes.

Protesters also burned several police vehicles and police stations while attacking some Turkish television broadcast vehicles because some national TV channels did not cover the protests in Istanbul.

About 30,000 demonstrators still packed the Taksim square and the Gaze park.

Earlier in the day, more than 50,000 demonstrators gathered in Taksim square, as the five-day protests against the demolition of a park boiled over into a move against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The nationwide demonstration was triggered after the police broke up a peaceful sit-in against the demolition on Friday. A total of 12 protesters were injured and at least 63 people detained during raid, according to Istanbul Governor's Office.

The angry protesters on Saturday demanded Erdogan to step down, calling his government the "fascist" government during their protests in Istanbul and other cities. Police eventually withdrew from central Taksim Square early on Saturday evening.

Earlier, Erdogan, who was facing the biggest challenge during his 10-year rule, called on demonstrators to end their protest, saying the government would press ahead with the redevelopment plans about Gezi Park.

The protest started five days ago aimed at saving a city center park in Istanbul from shopping-center developers who had been backed by the government.

Related stories:

Turkish PM calls for immediate end to protests

Turkish PM admits excessive use of force in crackdown

Turkish Police, protesters clash in Istanbul

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