GOTEBURG, Sweden, June 16 — Police braced for new protests Saturday after riots raged into the night Friday at the site of an EU summit, with three people wounded by gunshots and at least 40 protesters and 12 police injured. The center of the picturesque 17th-century Swedish port of Goteburg was a near war-zone strewn with rocks, burning barricades and smashed shops after nearly 12 hours of non-stop violence.
RIOTS FORCED the 15 EU leaders to cancel a summit dinner Friday at a restaurant in central Goteburg and instead stay inside a heavily guarded conference center. A statement said police had decided on security grounds the dinner could not be held at Tragar'n restaurant in the city's Botanical Gardens. A government spokesman said the leaders met guarded by hundreds of police and ringed by a double row of steel fences. Some were forced to flee their hotels.
Up to 25,000 activists from dozens of anti-EU, anti-U.S. and anti-globalization groups have descended on the city.
Rioters fought running battles with police during much of the day Friday. Around 1,000 anti-capitalist demonstrators, incensed by tough police action to protect EU leaders who met President Bush on Thursday, briefly took control of several city center streets despite the heavy police presence.
Protesters made several advances, hurling stones, lighting fires and dragging mounted police from their horses. Frightened, rider-less horses galloped back to police lines, skidding on paved roads littered with debris.
Protests had died down by the early hours of Saturday and the city appeared calm. But authorities were clearly anxious at the prospect of further violence on Saturday when EU leaders resume meeting.
"I am very worried about what might happen in the hours ahead. There are more demonstrations planned for tomorrow," Justice Minister Thomas Bodstrom said late Friday.
SCORES OF PROTESTERS, POLICE INJURED
A hospital spokesman said over 50 people were treated for injuries.
Details of the shootings remained sketchy, but some reports said police opened fire to defend themselves from rioters. The gunfire occurred around Goteburg University, about a mile from the summit site.
"Of the three, one is seriously hurt with wounds to the abdomen and is being operated on. The other two, including one with a gunshot wound to the thigh, were not seriously wounded," Pider Avall, spokesman for Sahlgrenska University Hospital, said.
Bodstrom said a dozen police were injured in Friday's clashes.
"I have been told that 12 policemen have been injured, none of them seriously," Bodstrom said.
He said 600 people were detained in violence which devastated the center of Sweden's second largest city. Many protesters were from countries other than Sweden, he added.