Anti-Israeli Protesters Clash With Police at Sweden Tennis Match

Dozens of rock-throwing anti-Israel activists clashed with police Saturday in an attempt to storm a closed arena where Sweden and Israel were playing a Davis Cup tennis match.

About 100 people were apprehended and at least six were formally arrested for rioting, Malmo police spokeswoman Ewa Westford said. There were no reports of injuries.

The activists hurled rocks and firecrackers at police vans as they tried to break through the barricades set up to keep protesters from the arena. Hundreds of riot police pushed them back using truncheons.

After the protesters dispersed, clashes continued in other parts of the city as police encircled groups of activists and took them into custody.

The violence started after about 7,000 people gathered at a square in downtown Malmo to hear speeches condemning Israel's offensive in Gaza and urging support for Palestinians.

Organizers of the "Stop the Match" protest had said the demonstration would be peaceful, but extreme-left activists had vowed to disrupt the match, which is being played without fans in Malmo, Sweden's third largest city.

Sweden's Left Party leader Lars Ohly told the crowd that the European Union and the rest of the world should "boycott the racist regime in Israel."

Chanting anti-Israel slogans, the protesters then marched toward the Baltic Hall arena, where some of them tried to break through the police barrier.

The doubles match between Sweden and Israel started as planned before about 300 special guests invited by the two countries' tennis federations.

About 1,000 police from southern Sweden were deployed in Malmo to keep the protesters from entering the arena.