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Police clash with pillaging anarchists in western France as airport protest degenerates

  • 96941c317ad093074c0f6a706700f5be.jpg

    Demonstrators clash against French riot police during a demonstration in Nantes, Saturday, Feb.22, 2014, as part of a protest against a project to build an international airport, in Notre Dame des Landes, near Nantes. The project was decided in 2010 and the international airport should open by 2017. (AP Photo/ Laetitia Notarianni)The Associated Press

  • 626f82567ad093074c0f6a70670041fa.jpg

    Demonstrators clash with French riot police during a demonstration in Nantes, Saturday Feb. 22, 2014, as part of a protest against a project to build an international airport, in Notre Dame des Landes, near Nantes. The project was decided in 2010 and the international airport should open by 2017. (AP Photo / Laetitia Notarianni)The Associated Press

  • 8c224da37ace93074c0f6a706700e6d1.jpg

    Demonstrators clash with French riot police during a demonstration in Nantes, Saturday Feb. 22, 2014, as part of a protest against a project to build an international airport, in Notre Dame des Landes, near Nantes. The project was decided in 2010 and the international airport should open by 2017. (AP Photo/ Laetitia Notarianni)The Associated Press

  • d8d330e37ace93074c0f6a7067002143.jpg

    Demonstrators clash with French riot police during a demonstration in Nantes, Saturday Feb.22, 2014, as part of a protest against a project to build an international airport, in Notre Dame des Landes, near Nantes. The project was decided in 2010 and the international airport should open by 2017. (AP Photo/ Laetitia Notarianni)The Associated Press

  • 850af3e57acf93074c0f6a70670095c8.jpg

    Demonstrators clash with French riot police during a demonstration in Nantes, Saturday Feb. 22, 2014, as part of a protest against a project to build an international airport, in Notre Dame des Landes, near Nantes. The project was decided in 2010 and the international airport should open by 2017. (AP Photo/ Laetitia Notarianni)The Associated Press

Riot police have moved into the western French city of Nantes, clashing with hundreds of anarchists who broke shop windows, destroyed bus stops and pillaged the city center.

The regional prefecture says that six police officers were injured in confrontations on Saturday with up to 1,000 "radicals" who joined an estimated 20,000 people protesting plans to build an airport in the Loire-Atlantique region.

Four people were detained, the prefecture said.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls said the delinquents were from the "radicalized ultra-left" and were waging an "urban guerrilla" campaign. Valls said on iTele TV station that "these are individuals who are very violent."

There have been numerous, sometimes violent, demonstrations against building an airport in Notre Dame des Landes, a pet project of Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, a Nantes native.