LONDON (AFP) — The end of the Notting Hill Carnival, Europe's biggest street festival, was marred when a group of 40 bottle-throwing people clashed with hundreds of riot police late Monday.
More than a million revellers had enjoyed the dazzling Caribbean-themed spectacle of costumes, dance and music in west London, but trouble flared as the carnival wound down.
At least one policeman was injured after being hit in the face with a bottle in the clashes which lasted two hours, the capital's Metropolitan Police said.
Chief Inspector Jo Edwards said: "Whilst thousands of people came to join in with the fun and spectacle of carnival, once again the event ended with a small minority of people determined to fight and cause trouble.
"For over two hours our officers were faced with a hard core, mainly of young men, who came to carnival not to enjoy the event but to fight, commit crime and cause trouble.
"This is not the way anyone can want to see the carnival finish."
Earlier, hundreds of police had surrounded and arrested a 150-strong gang of youths they believed were intent on creating havoc at the carnival after a tip-off.
The vast majority of the two-day festival went off peacefully as crowds danced and clapped in the streets to music and steel drums, while colourful carnival floats moved through the thronged streets of the Notting Hill district.
The festival has been marred by violence in recent years -- last year, two teenagers were shot, while two men were murdered in 2000.
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