SANTIAGO, Chile - Hooded anti-American marchers protesting an Asia-Pacific summit in Chile Friday hurled Molotov cocktails and stones at police who retaliated with water cannons and tear gas.
A large march against the weekend meeting of 21 leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum turned violent when a few dozen youths broke away from the main group to attack police.
Chileans protest against U.S. President George W. Bush with an Iraqi flag that reads, 'Resist Falluja,' as hundreds of demonstrators marched through downtown Santiago, November 19, 2004. Leaders of the 21 member countries of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) gathered here for their annual meeting as activists took to the streets to show their opposition. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes
About 100 people were arrested and four were injured, police said.
President Bush arrived late Friday for a visit that has been a lightning rod for protests.
Tens of thousands of people streamed through central Santiago carrying banners and chanting slogans against the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, including "Fascist Bush is a terrorist."
The area hit by the violence was small and had no effect on pre-summit bilateral talks between APEC leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and China's President Hu Jintao. All 21 leaders meet Saturday and Sunday.
Ministers paving the way for the weekend meeting have discussed ways to revive global trade talks launched in Doha three years ago. Cooperation against international terrorism is also on the agenda, at the urging of countries including the United States and Russia.
The nuclear arms programs of North Korea, one of few Asian-Pacific countries not part of APEC, will be one of the main security topics in bilateral meetings such as Hu's talks with South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun Friday and the Hu-Bush summit Saturday.
"Everyone is very clear that the extreme mutual distrust between the two major parties -- the U.S. and the DPRK (North Korea) -- is the biggest barrier" to resolving a two-year-old impasse, said Chinese foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan.
China's Hu has taken advantage of his South American trip to guarantee supplies of key commodities for his booming economy. He launched free-trade talks with Chile, the world's largest copper exporter, and agreed to begin work on a market-opening pact with New Zealand.
China also promised investments during Hu's visits to soy-producing Brazil and Argentina.
Police estimated the number of marchers at 25,000, but protest leaders said the real number was 70,000.
"The turnout is much bigger than we'd expected. This is a polite response to Bush's barbarity," said Ernesto Medina, a march organizer.
APEC officials were far away in their hotels or in a convention center overlooking the foothills of the Andes on the outskirts of Santiago.
Protest organizers from leftist, indigenous and environmental groups said the rights of workers and the need to protect the environment were being ignored in the free-trade agreements promoted by APEC members.
A violent minority pulled shirts over their faces and started throwing rocks when the march ended in Santiago's Bustamante park. They smashed park benches and burned a U.S. flag.
Police doused them with water cannons and fired tear gas from armored vehicles at protesters who dodged behind trees.
Chile's government canceled all police leave and decreed a public holiday in Santiago Friday as part of the strict security.
Additional reporting by Katie Burford, Ignacio Badal and Paul Eckert
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