Almost 40 S. Korean police hurt in anti-FTA protest

SEOUL – Almost 40 South Korean policemen were injured when a street protest against a free trade agreement with the United States turned violent, police said Sunday.

Some of about 2,200 people staging the rally punched and kicked officers during the protest in central Seoul’s Gwanghwamun district Saturday evening, a spokesman for the National Police Agency said.

Among those hurt was a district police chief. Most of the injuries were minor. Police deployed some 8,000 officers along with dozens of police buses to restrict access to the protest site.

There have been near-nightly demonstrations in central Seoul since the ruling party last Tuesday pushed the long-delayed trade deal through parliament against opposition protests.

One opposition MP set off a tear gas canister to try to halt proceedings.

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