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G20 protesters break into RBS in London

G20 protesters smashed windows and forced their way into offices of state-controlled lender Royal Bank of Scotland in London on Wednesday, breaking past riot police, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

Riot police could be seen inside the bank in the City trying to prevent demonstrators from entering the building, as other protestors threw missiles including bottles, cans and shoes at police outside.

"Scum" and "Beat inflation -- eat the rich," were sprayed in graffiti on the outside of the building, where thousands of demonstrators had gathered for protests against Thursday's Group of 20 summit in London.

At one point a protestor in a black balaclava pulled himself up to get into a window of the bank, but a policeman wielding a riot shield repelled him from inside. Bank staff watched the scene from a fourth floor window.

Riot police outside were lined up on horseback, struggling to keep control of the fast-moving protest action.

Police estimated about 4,000 demonstrators were in the streets of the main banking district. About 5,000 officers were deployed to protect US President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Gordon Brown and other Group of 20 leaders who will hold a summit on Thursday.

Eleven people were arrested after a renovated armoured personnel carrier was stopped near the financial district, a police spokesman said. The group inside had at least one police uniform.

Copyright 2009 AFP European Edition
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Publication:AFP European Edition
Date:Apr 1, 2009
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