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Paris police detain 208 at climate change demo

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Paris police detain 208 at climate change demo
Activists clash with police in central Paris on Sunday. Photo: AFP
21:46 CET+01:00
French police detained 208 people and kept a total of 174 in custody, after activists clashed violently with police in Paris on Sunday ahead of key climate talks, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.
The minister said the acts of violence in central Paris by the far-left activists must be "firmly" condemned.
The violence took place at the Place de la Republique where flowers and candles have been left in memory of the 130 people who died in the Paris attacks November 13.
French President Francois Hollande condemned the "scandalous" behaviour of the activists, some of whom pelted officers with bottles as well as candles that had been left in tribute to the victims of the November 13 attacks.
"These disruptive elements have nothing to do with defenders of the environment," Hollande said at an EU-Turkey summit in Brussels.
"They are not there so that the (COP21) talks succeed but are there solely to create incidents," he said.
"It is doubly regrettable, even scandalous that this happened at the Place de la Republique where flowers and candles have been left in memory of those who were killed by the terrorists' bullets" in the November 13 Paris attacks, he said.
He said it was also regrettable "in relation to the climate conference which will allow the world to decide the future of the planet."
Around 4,500 activists had earlier linked hands in the French capital in a peaceful protest pleading for leaders to curb global warming.
France has banned all demonstrations, including those for the climate talks, in the wake of the November 13 atrocities which left 130 people dead.
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