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French police fire tear gas on squatters at airport site

Published on Nov 23, 2012 8:53 PM
French riot gendarmes fire tear gas canisters towards demonstrators during an evacuation operation on land that will become the new airport in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, western France Nov 23, 2012.-- PHOTO: REUTERS

NOTRE-DAME-DES-LANDES, France (AFP) - French policemen fired tear gas on Friday at protesting squatters during a drive to evict them from the site of a proposed new airport to be built on protected swampland.

The angry protestors hurled bottles, stones and firecrackers at the estimated 500 policemen, an AFP correspondent said.

The crackdown at Notre-Dame-Des-Landes, south of the western city of Nantes, came a day ahead of a planned protest that is expected to gather thousands of activists at the 1,650ha site.

Two excavators and a large waste receptacle were deployed to clear an area where the protestors had set up shacks.

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