Corsica protesters clash with police in anger at imprisoned nationalist Ivan Colonna

Protesters in the northern Corsica town of Bastia attacked public buildings and threw projectiles at police on Sunday in the latest demonstration against an attack on nationalists imprisoned in a prison on the French mainland.

The local prefecture said in a statement that a protest gathering of 7,000 people in the middle of the afternoon turned violent as about 300 masked people used Molotov cocktails and other projectiles to target police and state institutions, setting a public tax office on fire.

In an update at 8 pm local time (1900 GMT), the governorate said that 38 people were injured in the ongoing clashes, including 24 police officers. Several demonstrations took place on the island of Corsica last week, including some clashes with the police, in anger over the strangulation of a female colleague in a prison in southern France, Yvan Colonna.

The attack left Corsican militants in a coma and led to renewed calls for the transfer of Nationalist prisoners from the French mainland to the island.

Colonna is serving a life sentence for the 1998 murder of Claude Irignac, who, as governor of Corsica, personified the power of the French state on an island with a history of separatist violence.


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