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Protesters clash over high speed rail link

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Protesters clash over high speed rail link
Luis Argerich
07:21 CET+01:00

Anti-rail protesters clashed with police on Wednesday in northern Italy as they demonstrated against a high-speed rail link between Lyon in France and Turin, Italian news agency ANSA said.

The clash broke out when police evicted protesters who for two days had blocked a stretch of highway between Turin and Bardonecchia.

As police cleared their barricades, protesters set fire to tyres and threw rocks at police, who responded by launching tear-gas grenades, ANSA reported.

The high-speed rail link -- projected to cost €20 billion ($26 billion) -- would allow a connection between Paris and Milan in just over four hours compared to seven at the moment and between Lyon and Turin in less than two hours.

The project is considered a strategic European transport corridor.

Part of the population in the scenic Val di Susa is against the project, which is expected to be completed in 2023, and it has become a focus point for wider social protests against the Italian government.

On Monday, a leader in the protest movement was gravely injured when he climbed onto an electricity pylon during a demonstration.

More demonstrations are planned on Thursday in Rome.


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