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Nuclear train protest: 1,300 detained in Germany


An anti-nuclear protester lies on the railroad tracks near Vastorf, Germany, on Nov. 27, 2011, in an effort to block the nuclear waste transport train due to pass there.



German police temporarily detained 1,300 protesters who blocked a train carrying nuclear waste on Sunday, The Associated Press reported.

Protesters in both France and Germany have slowed down the train since it started its journey last week, Voice of America reported. The train has been carrying spent fuel rods 1,200 kilometers from an Areva reprocessing plant in France to a storage facility in Gorleben, Germany.

About 20,000 police officers have been dispatched along the train's German route, Agence France-Presse reported.

On Sunday, protesters staged a sit-in on the tracks near Dannenberg, 12 miles away from the train’s final destination, the AP reported. Some people fastened themselves to the rails.

The police carried protesters who wouldn’t leave away from the tracks. About 150 people, mostly demonstrators, were injured in scuffles with police, according to security forces quoted by German news agency DPA, Agence France-Presse reported.

Voice of America noted:

The annual shipment from France has been a focal point for anti-nuclear advocates in recent years, with protesters claiming the shipments are not safe. But this is the first such shipment since German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier this year announced moves to speed up the shutdown of all Germany's nuclear plants by 2022.

Protest organizers said about 23,000 anti-nuclear-energy activists had turned out in Dannenberg, while police put the number of demonstrators at 8,000, Agence France-Presse reported.

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