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Australian police arrested hundreds of protesters opposing the closure and injuring 7 officers

 Australian police arrested hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters in Melbourne and Sydney today, Saturday, and seven officers were taken to hospital after being injured as a result of the clashes, as the country witnessed the highest rise in Corona virus infections in a single day, according to Reuters.


Mounted police used pepper spray in Melbourne to disperse crowds of more than 4,000 protesters towards police lines, while a large group of riot police prevented smaller groups of protesters from gathering in Sydney.


Victoria State Police said they had arrested 218 people in the state capital, Melbourne. They imposed 236 fines and detained three people for assaulting the police. Those arrested face fines of A$5,452 ($3,900) each for breaching public health orders.


Police in New South Wales, where Sydney is the capital, said they have charged 47 people with breaching public health orders or resisting arrest, among other offences, and sentenced more than 260 fines ranging from A$50 ($35) to US$3,000. Police said about 250 people had arrived in the city to protest.


Sydney, Australia's largest city with a population of more than 5 million, has been under a strict lockdown for more than two months and has failed to contain the outbreak that has spread across internal borders and into neighboring New Zealand.


The vast majority of the 894 cases reported across Australia on Saturday were found in Sydney, the epicenter of a variable Delta outbreak.


"We are in a very dangerous situation here in New South Wales," State Health Minister Brad Hazzard said. "There is no time now to be selfish, it is time to think about the broader community and your families."


Police patrolled the streets of Sydney and blocked public and private transport to the city center to reduce the number of people gathered for an unauthorized protest.


In Melbourne, the country's second most populous city, a large crowd managed to march and some clashed with police, after Prime Minister Daniel Andrews extended the city's lockdown to the entire state.


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