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Violence Escalates Outside G-8 Summit

BY Admin  July 20, 2001 at 2:40 PM EDT

Circumstances of the protester’s death remain unclear, but some reports indicate the person was shot by police and may have been run over by a police jeep. The death was confirmed by an Italian police spokesman.

At least 46 protesters and 31 police officers have been hurt in violent clashes, with demonstrators hurling firebombs and rocks, and police firing water cannons and tear gas. Protesters have shattered shop windows, overturned cars and set fire to dumpsters. There have been 39 arrests.

The rioting is a few blocks from the opening session of the Group of Eight summit, where leaders of the world’s seven largest industrial nations and Russia are assembled. The leaders, including President Bush, are meeting in a medieval palace sealed-off by a high steel-mesh security fence. Demonstrators have tried to breach the barricade.

The Mediterranean port town of Genoa was prepared for demonstrations, as anti-globalisation protests have erupted at recent international leadership and trade meetings. Some 20,000 police and soldiers are at the ready. In addition, surface-to-air missiles are positioned at the airport against any possible air attack.

The leaders of the U.S., Russia, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Canada and Japan will discuss global economic and health issues. Today they agreed to create a new fund to combat AIDS. Initial pledges of support topped $1 billion.

The leaders also plan to launch a new round of global trade talks. An earlier attempt failed following demonstrations in Seattle in December 1999.