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Protesters at the G20
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/M.Scholz

G20: Hamburg police seek help to find riot activists

December 18, 2017

Police in Hamburg are asking for the public's help to identify "Black Bloc" rioters who caused millions in damages at the G20 summit. Officials estimate that up to 6,000 people were involved in the street violence.


Five months on from the G20 riots, Hamburg's public prosecutor has released dozens of photographs and video clips of unknown suspects in the hope that members of the public will come forward with new clues.

The images relate to five crime scenes in the northern German port city, where unidentified individuals can be seen looting shops and setting cars ablaze.

Police are investigating the group of so-called "Black Bloc" activists who went on a rampage during the July 6-8 meeting of the world's biggest economic powers. They believe that between 5,000 and 6,000 people were involved in the violence.

Protesters in Hamburg set property on fire
Police in Hamburg have released dozens of photographs of alleged rioters to the publicImage: Polizei Hamburg

At the start of December, police chief Ralf Martin Meyer said a special task force was working on 3,000 cases and analyzing more than 10 terabytes of data — including CCTV footage from buses, trains, train stations and other public places. Geolocation data and facial recognition software are also being used.

Havoc in Hamburg

Tens of thousands of protesters took part in anti-globalization marches during the G20 event. While most demonstrations were peaceful, police accuse a mob of Black Bloc rioters of carrying out planned criminal acts such as vandalizing cars and buildings, arson, throwing stones at police and looting.

Around 200 police officers were injured in skirmishes with activists from far-left group, who typically wear dark clothing and face masks to hide their identities.

Earlier in December, police raided 23 properties across Germany to gather evidence against 22 individuals linked to the G20 violence. Police investigator Jan Hieber said two of the 25 locations searched were key gathering places of Black Bloc extremists. Officers seized 26 computers and 36 mobile phones, but made no arrests.

@dwnews - Hamburg residents clean streets after violent G20 protests

nm/ng (dpa, Reuters)


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