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Nearly 500 arrested in G20 protests: Toronto police

Police arrested 480 people over the weekend for burning four police cars and smashing bank windows and storefronts in violent protest against a G20 summit, authorities told AFP on Sunday.

world Updated: Jun 27, 2010 21:03 IST

Police arrested 480 people over the weekend for burning four police cars and smashing bank windows and storefronts in violent protest against a G20 summit, authorities told AFP on Sunday.

Several of the demonstrators suspected for leading the violence have been charged, said Gillian Van Acker, spokeswoman for the Integrated Security Unit responsible for securing the summit of the world's top economies.

But she could not say how many, so far.

Overnight AFP journalists came across dozens of young militants with their hands tied, squatting on downtown streets after clashes outside several locked down hotels where delegates to the G20 and G8 summits were staying.

Residents awoke on Sunday to find city crews sweeping up broken glass and wiping graffiti off buildings and streetcars, as packs of police kept a quiet vigil at intersections.

Dimitri Soudas, spokesman for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, blamed the violence on "a bunch of thugs that pretend to have a difference of opinion with policies and instead choose violence to express those so-called differences."