Berlin squat riot leaves dozens of police wounded

image copyrightReutersimage captionProtesters set a barricade alight outside 94 Rigaer Straße

Sixty German police officers have been injured in riots over a building being occupied by squatters in Berlin.

A court has granted officials permission to carry out a fire inspection, but when police attempted to secure the area on Wednesday morning, they were hit by stones.

Occupants of 94 Rigaer Straße fear the move could lead to their eviction from one of the city's last remaining squats

Previous attempts to clear the building have failed following violent protests.

In 2016, 123 police officers were wounded in a riot at the site.

The area of Friedrichshain, where the squat is located, has undergone rapid gentrification in recent years.

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The city's police force wrote on Twitter that officers arriving ahead of Thursday's inspection were "attacked with stones from the street and the roof by around 300 people".

"Material was brought on the street and set on fire," they added, with officers bring water cannons to extinguish the flames.

The police later climbed building to remove the stones placed on the roof.

image copyrightReutersimage captionThe squat has previously been the site of violent protests

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, many students, young people and radical anarchist groups moved to occupy derelict buildings in eastern parts of the city.

But many owners reclaimed properties as neighbourhoods became trendy and house prices soared over the next two decades.

In October last year, police in Berlin evicted around 50 residents from a squat at Liebig 34 , which had housed an "anarchist-queer-feminist" community since 1999.

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