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10:46, 16 August 2018 Thursday
09:44, 12 August 2018 Sunday

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Second night of Romania demos after hundreds injured
Second night of Romania demos after hundreds injured

Police came in for criticism after they used water cannon and tear gas on Friday to disperse protesters calling on the leftwing government to resign.

World Bulletin / News Desk

Tens of thousands gathered Saturday in the Romanian capital Bucharest for a second straight day after more than 450 people were hurt and around 30 arrested in a huge anti-corruption protest.

Many demonstrators needed treatment after inhaling pepper spray and tear gas, while others suffered blows, hospital sources said.

Around 30 police were also injured, 11 of whom were taken to hospital.

Massive crowds gathered in downtown Bucharest on Saturday night, watched by security forces as they chanted: "Down with the government" and "Justice, not corruption".

"I came after seeing what happened on Friday on television -- the brutality of the police against peaceful people," said Floarea Toader, 64, the national yellow, blue and red flag draped across her shoulders.

"My children work in Spain and they would like to come back. But for now that's not possible as the politicians are only interested in themselves and do nothing for anyone else."

Around four million people have left the country -- one of the European Union's poorest -- in the last 15 years, seeking a better life than that offered by Romania's average monthly wage of just 520 euros ($590).

Police rejected criticism from the centre-right opposition that its officers had used excessive force on Friday, saying its response to violence by dozens of protesters had been "gradual and proportionate".



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