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Tear gas fired at IMF protesters

October 07, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Turkish police fired tear gas and used water cannons to disperse hundreds of people protesting against the International Monetary Fund and World Bank during their annual meetings in Istanbul.

Riot police armed with shields and firing gas canisters rushed to disperse protesters in Taksim Square, a few hundred yards from the IMF-World Bank meetings. Several banks were damaged and ransacked by protesters, predominantly Turkish.

Police detained about 50 people near the convention center where finance ministers, central bankers and economists have been meeting to discuss the global economy, Istanbul Gov. Muammer Guler told reporters.

"Some illegal groups attacked police with stones, sticks . . . and even gas bombs," he said, adding that there were no immediate reports of casualties.

The main square and surrounding streets were largely calm by early afternoon, although police were still pursuing small groups of protesters in side streets.

The protests were organized by several Turkish unions, but were small compared with some demonstrations at other major IMF or similar global meetings about the economy.

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