Clashes mar Poland independence march

People hold burning flares during a march in Warsaw. Photo: 11 November 2013 Thousands of people took part in the march, which began noisily but peacefully

Related Stories

Polish police have fired rubber bullets and tear gas to break up violent clashes during an independence day march in the capital Warsaw.

A number of people were injured during the annual rally organised by far-right and nationalist movements.

The violence started when groups of youths broke off from the main march to attack a squat and set fires to cars.

They also set ablaze a rainbow-coloured arch symbolising tolerance, and tried to attack the Russian embassy.

The protesters - many of them wearing masks - threw firecrackers at the diplomatic mission. Several youths also tried to scale the building's fence but were stopped by the police.

A rainbow art installation burns in Warsaw. Photo: 11 November 2013 A rainbow art installation was burnt down in the Polish capital
Riot policemen form a cordon around the Russian embassy in Warsaw. Photo: 11 November 2013 Riot police sealed off the area around the Russian embassy to protect diplomats

"There is no justification for hooliganism," Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman Marcin Wojciechowski said.

The authorities also said that at least four police officers were among those injured during the violence.

Thousands of people took part in the main march, which began noisily but peacefully. They carried white-and-red Polish flags and chanted: "God, honour, fatherland!"

For the third year in a row violence broke out during the march, the BBC's Adam Easton reports.

The rally commemorates the day Poland regained its independence at the end of World War One in 1918.

Before that, Poland had been carved up between Russia, Prussia and the Austro-Hungarian empire.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Europe stories


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ElvisSecret cinema

    Get off the beaten track and explore cinematic history in the Santa Monica Mountains


  • A computer generated model of a lift shaftClick Watch

    The future of elevator technology - lifts that can climb up to 1km in the air and even travel sideways

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.