NOTRE-DAME-DES-LANDES, France (Reuters) – French police fired teargas and stun grenades and were pelted with stones during a dawn swoop to clear eco-activists and anarchists from a site in western France that had been planned as a new airport.
The site in Notre-Dame-des-Landes had been squatted for years by opponents of the plan to build a 580-million-euro ($710 million) airport which the government decided to drop in January.
Some 2,500 police took part in the evacuation which authorities said started at 6 a.m. (12 a.m. ET). Police had already blocked surrounding roads as early at 3:30 a.m., a Reuters journalist saw, while protesters set fire to barricades.