ISTANBUL – Protesters hurled firebombs at banks and police and smashed shop windows in a second day of protests Wednesday against the International Monetary Fund.
The crowd of some 150 people — members of fringe left-wing groups — gathered about half a mile away from the venue of the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank being held in Istanbul, shouting "IMF get out!"
The protesters also stoned a police vehicle, prompting officers inside to fire warning shots in the air to keep them at bay, while riot police used water canons and tear and pepper gas.
Groups of masked youths hurled gasoline bombs at several banks, and shattered the windows of a Burger King fast food restaurant as well as windows of several Turkish and foreign banks in Istanbul's Sisli district.
Outnumbered by police, the protesters ran down side streets but regrouped quickly in a failed attempt to break through police lines and march to a complex where the IMF and World Bank were wrapping up discussions on internal reforms and the fragile recovery from the global economic meltdown.
Muammer Guler, the governor of Istanbul, said 25 protesters were detained on Wednesday.
The previous day, police detained 103 people following a similar protest in which masked demonstrators shattered shop and bank windows and hurled stones at riot police, Guler said.
Last week, a student journalist threw a shoe at IMF Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn at a university in Istanbul. The shoe missed him.