(Vatican Radio) At least seventy-six police officers and several demonstrators have been injured the in clashes in Germany's city of Hamburg, ahead of the G20 summit. The clashes came shortly before the start of the gathering where U.S. President Donald Trump was to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin later on Friday.
Listen to Stefan Bos' report:
Violence broke out near the site of the G-20 Summit. German riot police confronted thousands of protesters demonstrating amid the arrival here of President Trump.
Some called the protest "G-20: Welcome to Welcome to Hell". But the violence was not what organizers of the march had planned. They soon declare the march over, but this area of Hamburg resembles nearly a war zone.
Dozens of police were injured, and even their spokesman was reportedly attacked during an interview.
Officers used water cannons and pepper spray to disperse black-hooded protesters at the event. Masked protesters can be seen attacking police with bottles, stones, and other objects and set fires in the street.
Several stores in the neighborhood closed down. Shop owners left messages urging demonstrators not to attack their businesses, but several buildings were damaged.
Protests will continue with more than 100,000 protesters expected in the city for the summit that takes place Friday and Saturday.
Hamburg has boosted its forces, and some 20,000 officers are in Hamburg and the surrounding area to patrol streets, skies, and waterways.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are among those attending the summit hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
However, those protesting, including extreme leftist demonstrators, view the meeting as a capitalistic gathering that will do little to make the world a better place. Many also oppose the presidency of Donald Trump who faces criticism over his perceived harsh migration and 'America First' policies.