2 injured, 12 detained as Madrid protests turn violent again


Riot police try to clear the area near the Spanish Parliament during a protest against spending cuts and the government of Mariano Rajoy on Sept. 29, 2012 in Madrid.


Denis Doyle

Two people were injured and 12 others detained as tens of thousands of protesters clashed with riot police in Madrid again Saturday, The Associated Press reported.

Enraged by tax hikes and austerity measures, boisterous crowds let off ear-splitting whistles and yelled "Fire them, fire them!" in reference to the conservative government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, according to the AP.

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Protesters were peaceful for hours until shortly before midnight, when police moved in to clear out stragglers.

Some responded by throwing bottles and rocks

Spain's state TV reported the injuries and detainments early Sunday near the barricades erected in downtown Madrid to shield the Parliament building. 

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On Tuesday, riot police fired rubber bullets and baton-charged protesters in clashes that resulted in 38 arrests and left 64 injured, Agence France-Presse reported.

On Thursday, Spain's government announced a new budget that included plans for spending cuts "and left the door open for a European bailout package," Reuters reported.

The debt-ridden country suffers from the highest unemployment rate in the euro zone, and thousands have taken to the streets in recent months to protest austerity measures.