Abortion rights protesters clash with police in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A couple of hundred pro-abortion protesters clashed with police in Mexico City Monday after the demonstrators used hammers to break doors and windows along the march route.

The protesters are demanding safe and legal abortions, which are currently allowed in Mexico City but not in most of the rest of the country.

Ranks of female police officers formed Monday to try to control the march. But some demonstrators tossed flares and bottles of gasoline at the officers. Police used fire extinguishers to douse the flames.

Some demonstrators also grabbed riot shields from police and formed a phalanx to try to advance. The city government said it would not allow the march to advance while protesters carried dangerous objects.

The city said it was in a difficult spot, because conservative groups have set up their own protest encampment in the city’s main plaza, which is where the abortion protesters want to go.

It was unclear which group the city feared would interfere with the other, but women’s rights’ marches in the capital have been far more militant and violent in recent years.