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Police clash with techno music fans jamming highway connecting Prague to Germany
[July 29, 2005]

Police clash with techno music fans jamming highway connecting Prague to Germany

The Associated Press

Helmeted riot squads dispersed a gathering of techno music fans jamming a main westbound highway on Friday as police blocked access to the site of their annual CzechTek party, officials said.

Police spokeswoman Ilona Tymlova said traffic on the D5 freeway connecting Prague with Germany was stopped Friday morning between the Ostrov and Mlynec exits some 130 kilometers (80 miles) west of Prague.

The riot officers forced people to get back in their cars and drive on.

Tymlova said police had prevented fans from crossing privately owned land to reach the site of the festival, some 300 meters (yards) from the busy international road.

According to the CTK news agency and other media, police also used water cannon to clear the highway and allow traffic to resume.

Tymlova denied the reports and said the water cannon was used to refresh the black-clad riot squads in the heat.

"We just did not want them (the police) to collapse, it was not aimed against the fans," she said.

Last year, the CzechTek party, attended by thousands of fans from the Czech Republic as well as neighboring European countries, was stopped after five days by the police, who cited legal problems and complaints from local citizens.

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