Agence France Presse

Seoul, February 9

Thousands of angry South Korean farmers and anti-war activists clashed with police near the National Assembly today after rallying against a vote on a free trade agreement and a bill to send troops to Iraq.

The clashes erupted when riot police stopped some 20,000 demonstrators armed with steel pipes and clubs from marching toward parliament. Backed by water canons, police wielding batons and shields confronted some 3,000 protesters who attempted to break through barricades set up outside the National Assembly.