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Protesters storm military parade on Brazil independence day

At least five people injured in clashes between police and protesters in the Brazilian capital

AFP , Saturday 7 Sep 2013
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More than 100 protesters interrupted a military parade in Rio Saturday held to mark Brazil's independence day and were dispersed with teargas.

Five people were injured and taken to the hospital, civil police said, adding that at least 10 protesters were arrested.

The protest, one of a series of demonstrations planned Saturday across the country, comes with Brazil in the international spotlight as it prepares to host the football World Cup next year.

In June, the country saw massive street protests -- which have continued since on a smaller scale -- demanding better public services and an end to corruption.

In Rio Saturday, the protesters, some masked, entered the downtown avenue where the military was parading, shouting slogans and clashing with police. Security forces fired teargas, prompting spectators, many of them families with children, to flea the fumes.

Police chased several protesters who escaped through side streets, shooting rubber bullets, according to local news site G1. At least one bank branch near the demonstration was vandalized, it added.

In a bid to recapture the energy of the June protests, groups have called via social media for demonstrations in 150 cities across the country, including Brasilia, where several hundred people were marching to Congress.

"We want better education, political reforms and media democratization. The June protests served to push Congress to approve measures -- we have to keep them alive," a student demonstrator, Philip Leite, told AFP.

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