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Israeli flag burned at Hungary retirement protest
May 8, 2011 10:58
Cloth with Star of David lit on fire as thousands of public service employees demonstrated against a gov't plan to abolish early retirement.
Firefighters hold banners in Hungary.

Hungary protest 311. (photo credit:Reuters )

The flag of Israel was burned as thousands of Hungarian public service employees protested against a government plan to abolish early retirement on Friday, AFP reported.

According to Hungarian public television M1, a white cloth with the Star of David, resembling the Israeli flag, was lit on fire as thousands of police officers, firefighters, customs, prison guards and soldiers demonstrated against the government program.

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Several members of extreme the right-wing militias "For a Brighter Future" and "Defense Forces" took part in the protest, the Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

"Many organizations indicated their intention to join, among others a Roma civilian guard group too," organizer union chairman Peter Konya said.

When it was apparent that the extreme right-wing groups were taking part in the demonstration, the Roma civilian guard decided not to join.

The two extremist militias were known for patrolling rural settlements with large Roma populations, in an attempt "to restore peace," they said.

The protest took part in front of the Hungarian parliament, and several smoke bombs were detonated, causing a fire to break out.
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