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Police clash with protesters at far-right Brothers of Italy rally

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AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Police clash with protesters at far-right Brothers of Italy rally
Police clashed with a group of around 50 demonstrators after an officer was reportedly hit. Photo by Igor PETYX / ANSA / AFP

Clashes broke out on Tuesday between police and protesters at a rally by Italian election frontrunner Giorgia Meloni, a police statement said.

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On Tuesday evening, anti-riot officers charged a group of around 50 people who were trying to disrupt a Brothers of Italy party rally in Palermo, Sicily.

Local police said in a statement that "containment" measures were used on a group of demonstrators after an officer was punched by one of the protesters.

READ ALSO: Salvini vs Meloni: Can Italy’s far-right rivals put differences aside?

A demonstrator was taken into custody after throwing a water bottle at a police officer, the statement added. According to the latest media reports, they were released a few hours after the incident.

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Italian newspaper La Repubblica said that one of its reporters was hurt during the clash, which was later seen in a video published and widely shared online.

In the aftermath of the incident, the Sicilian parliamentary press association said that journalists from other news outlets were also pushed, adding that they hoped that “these are only incidents and not the restoration of a climate that must belong only to history".

Earlier on Wednesday, Meloni offered "solidarity" to the journalist hurt during the clash and accused protesters trying to disrupt her election campaign of being "enemies of democracy".

READ ALSO: Far-right Brothers of Italy party suspends candidate for praising Hitler

Tuesday’s incident came just two days after the Brothers of Italy leader complained about the lack of public order at her events.

On Monday, Meloni released a video where she accused Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese of failing to ensure that public order was maintained at her rallies.

Clash between demonstrators and police officers at a Brothers of Italy rally in Palermo, Sicily.

A demonstrator who had been taken into custody after hitting a police officer with a water bottle was released a few hours after the incident. Igor PETYX / ANSA / AFP

She said that protesters had already disrupted numerous campaign events and insulted her supporters, warning of "the risk that someone may at some point get wound up and accidents may happen".

Meloni's Brothers of Italy party is currently topping opinion polls ahead of Sunday's vote and looks set to take power with her coalition allies, Matteo Salvini's far-right League and Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right Forza Italia.

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Anonymous 2022/09/21 17:22
The quicker Lamorgese gets booted out the better, how useless is this woman.

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