As the Group of 20 summit kicked off its second day in Hamburg, Germany, thousands of anti-capitalist protesters-turned-rioters wreaked havoc in the area, setting cars on fire, throwing Molotov cocktails, and blocking delegates from entering the summit venue.
Hamburg police were forced to call in reinforcements from surrounding cities to counter the angry protesters as they attempted to enter the red zone, which is the area of the city blocked off for the meeting.
"We've asked for a few hundred more police officers — they're on the way," said Hamburg interior senator Andy Grote. "The potential for criminal energy and violence of some is shocking."
Over 45 people have been arrested and an additional 15 were detained, and according to Fox News, at least 160 police officers have been injured so far, including three who have been hospitalized for serious injuries.
Authorities said a Hamburg police helicopter was almost hit by a rocket flare, and fireworks were thrown at police. One pilot suffered eye injuries after a laser was pointed at him. Some officers' patrol cars were also attacked as protesters smashed out the windows and threw paint on the vehicles with the officers inside.
Police officers in riot gear began using water cannons to keep the unruly crowd under control as the group of leaders met to discuss policy issues that affect international financial stability, including climate change and terrorism.
— Christiaan Triebert (@trbrtc) July 7, 2017
— Sky News (@SkyNews) July 6, 2017
Anti-globalization protesters demonstrate against the G20 summit in Hamburg. German police disperse protest with water cannon before summit. pic.twitter.com/Jo3qY8lv3H
— Behind The News (@Behind__News) July 6, 2017
Germany's Justice Minister Heiko Maas condemned the violence Friday, expressing Germany would have no tolerance for the criminal acts.
"Every peaceful protest is welcome," Maas told reporters. "But that is no free pass for unrestrained rampage.
"These extremist criminals don’t belong in the streets, but into court. Whoever torches cars and injures police officers does not deserve any kind of tolerance," he said.