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French police clash with activists who refuse to leave an airport site

FRANCE (OBSERVATORY) –¬†French police fired teargas, stun grenades and stones during an attack early on Monday to evacuate environmental activists from a western site where a new airport was supposed to be built.

For years, opponents of the construction plan have been putting their hand on the site in Notre Dame de Lund. The government canceled the airport construction plan in January.

Some 2,500 police took part in the evacuation, which authorities said began at 6 am (0400 GMT). A Reuters journalist said police had blocked roads around the site since 3am, while protesters set fire to the barriers.

A police official said a policeman was wounded in the eye and a protester was arrested. The official described the clashes as sporadic and relatively limited.

Ministers say the authorities ordered the handlers to leave after they managed to stop the airport project. “We want to put an end to a lawless area,” the interior ministry said in a statement.

“Illegal construction must be demolished until things return to normal in Notre Dame de Lund,” Interior Minister Gerard Colom told Europe 1 radio.