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200 protesters detained in Switzerland

The detained have been protesting ahead of the annual meeting of the Geneva-based World Economic Forum.

world Updated: Jan 20, 2008 18:27 IST

The police in Swiss capital Bern used tear-gas and rubber bullets against left-wing anti-globalisation demonstrators and detained around 200 of them, local media reports said on Sunday.

They were protesting on Saturday ahead of the annual meeting of the Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) in the alpine resort of Davos. The local authorities had banned the demonstration for fear of violence.

Giovanni A Schumacher, leader of the Alliance for Global Opposition, said they wanted to undertake a peaceful march in defiance of the ban. He was among 200 people detained by the police.

The group criticised the WEF for its capitalist system and repression. Problems began late on Saturday afternoon when the police used tear-gas canisters and rubber bullets to disperse the gathering. Protestors threw bottles and smoke bombs at the police.

In a related development, around 120 protestors took to the streets in northeastern St Gallen city, but the demonstration ended peacefully there.

The protestors called for global solidarity and called upon people to fight neo-liberalism.