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Clashes at pro-migrant rally in Alps

BBC News BBC News 3/04/2016
Police use pepper spray to stop protesters demonstrating against the closure of borders on the Italian-Austrian border (03/04/2016) © AP Police use pepper spray to stop protesters demonstrating against the closure of borders on the Italian-Austrian border (03/04/2016)

Austrian police have clashed with people demonstrating against the closure of Europe's frontiers at a border crossing with Italy.

'Welcome is painted on the Austrian border sign after protests in the village of Brenner (03/04/2016): Welcome has been painted on the sign marking entry into Austria © AP Welcome has been painted on the sign marking entry into Austria

Hundreds of people had gathered at the Brenner Pass, a key transit route from northern Italy, for a peaceful march.

Map locator © BBC Map locator

Trouble broke out at the end, when some 50 protesters clashed with police in riot gear.

Austria has said it plans stricter border controls at Brenner in response to the migrant crisis.

On Saturday, Defence Minister Peter Doskozil said soldiers would be deployed with police at the Brenner Pass. He said the measures were necessary because the EU's outer borders were not properly protected.

In a statement, the governor of the Austrian province of Tyrol said five police officers had been injured. He condemned the violence.

Tyrol media said some 1,000 human rights activists from Italy, Germany and Austria had gathered at Brenner station to demonstrate against the closure of borders in Europe.

A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.

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