Violent clashes mar start of Toronto G-20 Summit

     An estimated 10,000 demonstrators clashed with Toronto Police and other law enforcement authorities on Saturday, a day before the commencement of the fourth Group of Twenty (G-20) Summit, forcing shops in the downtown area to down their shutters well before closing time. Three people were injured. Local television reports quoted police as saying that the protesters smashed windows and storefronts in the downtown area, besides burning a police car. Police also had to use tear gas to dispel protesters attempting to march towards the Toronto Convention centre, the venue of the summit. Protesters were blocked by barricades horseback mounted policemen and policemen attired in riot gear, helmets and gas masks. Police confirmed that the G-20 security zone has been put on lockdown mode. Popular shopping centres like the Eaton Centre, the Sick Kids Hospital and the Toronto General Hospital have also been shut down. As most of the thousands of protesters obeyed police directions to avoid the security perimeter, a smaller group 100 demonstrators moved in and out of confrontations along Queen Street West. Lined four deep, officers blocked the group from the summit but largely left the property damage go unchallenged. "Its fluid, but they are responding as the incidents arrive," a spokesman for the Toronto Police was quoted, as saying.

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