Demonstrators Hurl Bricks at Police as Rally Turns Ugly

Anti-Israeli protesters clashed with riot police outside an Israeli-Swedish Davis Cup tennis match in Malmo, Sweden yesterday, but did not break through police lines.

Due to security concerns, the three-day match is being played in an empty stadium in this southwestern port city, which has a large immigrant population. Several hundred left-wing militants carrying banners saying "Turn left, smash right," and "Boycott Israel" joined a peaceful pro-Palestinian demonstration by about 6,000 people.

About 200 of the militants began pelting police with stones, fireworks and paint bombs, Reuters witnesses said, while organizers of the official demonstration shouted at the masked protesters not to use violence against the authorities.

Police said they had detained 10 protesters.

Malmo, which is Sweden's third largest city and is ruled by a left-of-center coalition, was heavily criticized by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and by Israeli players for its decision to close the stadium to the public.

Around 1,000 police officers have cordoned off a large area around the stadium to prevent protesters from getting in.