- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 25, 2006

IRELAND

IRA supporters clash with police

DUBLIN — Several hundred Irish Republican Army supporters attacked police in Dublin yesterday to protest an unprecedented parade through the capital by Protestants from Northern Ireland.

In scenes rare for the Republic of Ireland, protesters hurled bottles, bricks, concrete blocks and fireworks at police officers trying to clear the hostile crowd from Dublin’s most famous boulevard, O’Connell Street.

Even though the Protestants abandoned their parade, the battles spread to streets near the national parliament and museums, as well as a shopping center and the major tourist district, Temple Bar.

Ireland’s national police force said 14 persons — six officers and eight civilians, including rioters and a journalist — were hospitalized, mostly with head wounds. More than a dozen other people suffered less serious injuries.

BRITAIN

Protesters back research on animals

LONDON — Hundreds of people rallied yesterday to the defense of a planned biomedical research laboratory at England’s Oxford University, heavily outnumbering animal rights campaigners.

The march in support of scientific testing of animals comes after almost two years of opposition to the laboratory, which has included claims of intimidation and even firebomb attacks on the property of Oxford colleges.

Police estimated that about 700 people marched through the streets of Oxford, west of London, to the site of the animal-testing facility, staging shouting matches with about 200 to 300 animal rights campaigners.

NETHERLANDS

Left-wingers attack freedom of speech

AMSTERDAM — One person was arrested after scuffles broke out when far-left activists disrupted a freedom-of-speech rally organized to defend the publication in European newspapers of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, police said yesterday.

About 100 people gathered in the center of Amsterdam in a sort of counterdemonstration to the one on Feb. 11 by Muslim organizations that denounced the caricatures of Islam’s prophet, according to a police spokesman who asked not to be identified.

The Muhammad caricatures, first published in a Danish newspaper in September, were reprinted in the Dutch press in November and caused no disturbance.

However, when the cartoons surfaced again in the past two months in other European publications, they triggered riots throughout the Muslim world.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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