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Protesters, Officers Injured in London as Police Responds to Mass Anti-Lockdown Protest

© REUTERS / HANNAH MCKAYOfficer stands guard outside Croydon police station
Officer stands guard outside Croydon police station - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The mass public demonstration on the landmark Trafalgar Square in central London against the recent tightening of the coronavirus-related restrictions in the United Kingdom has grown into clashes with police, the Metropolitan Police said on Saturday.

"We want to be clear, this protest is no longer exempt from the regulations. Sadly, some officers have been injured while engaging with people," the police said in a press release.

Reports by the UK media cite at least three protesters injured by police officers and treated by medical teams. According to Sky News, as many as 15,000 people attended the demonstration.

​Photo-footage from the scene shows a bulk-on-bulk confrontation between the protesters and police, with the officers using batons to hold the protesters back as they push forward. Pictures have captured several instances of protesters bleeding.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police reported that sixteen people have been arrested during the mass demonstration.

"Sixteen people have been arrested today (Saturday, 26 September) during demonstrations in Trafalgar Square, which then moved towards Hyde Park," the police said.

Arrests were conducted over offences including breach of COVID-19 regulations, assault of a police officer, public order offences and violent disorder, according to the press release.

"Sadly, nine police officers were also injured while policing the event. Two of which required hospital treatment for head injuries," the press release added.

Thousands gathered on the Trafalgar Square since morning for a rally dubbed "We do not consent!" despite the police's earlier warning to respect the effective public assembly limits. Judging from the placards people brought, they are specifically dismayed by the 10 p.m. curfew for pubs and restaurants and the requirement to wear face masks in public.

A similar demonstration took place on the Trafalgar Square last Saturday, resulting in violent clashes and 32 arrests.

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