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Hungarian Police Detain 56 People in National Day Protests

Hungarian police have detained 56 demonstrators following street violence on Hungary's National Day Thursday.

National Police Chief Laszlo Bene Friday said officers picked up extreme rightists after they failed to comply with orders to disperse. He said seven of the eight people injured in clashes were police officers.

The Hungarian news agency MTI says some of the detainees could face charges of assaulting police officials, vandalism and illegal use of fire arms.

The demonstrations started peacefully but later far-right extremists, some of them waving Nazi flags, clashed with the police in central Budapest. Police responded with tear gas and water cannon.

The violence erupted after police arrested a right wing leader suspected of starting anti-government riots last year.

Earlier about 100,000 people demonstrated peacefully demanding the resignation of Socialist Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany.

Nationwide anger against Mr. Gyurcsany erupted last September when he was heard on a leaked audiotape admitting he lied to voters about the state of the economy to win reelection.

Thursday's rally marked the anniversary of the 1848 uprising against Habsburg rule in Hungary.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.