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Jun 20, 2007 at 12:11pm IST

Mix of clashes, rallies on May Day

New Delhi: May Day march across the world brought a mix of both clashes and peaceful rallies.

Several hundred Palestinian workers undertook a march alongside Israel's separation barrier towards Qalandia checkpoint, near Ramallah, where they clashed with Israeli soldiers.

Labour union workers also gathered in the main streets of Seoul and held rallies demanding workers’ rights.

Meanwhile, ailing Cuban President Fidel Castro failed to appear at Tuesday's May Day celebrations in Havana while the traditional workers' holiday saw police and protesters clash in Turkey, Macau and the Czech Republic.

Elsewhere workers took to the streets to demand better pay and conditions. Speculation had been rife that veteran leader Castro would resurface, with expectations heightened by the publication earlier in the day of a new press article bearing Castro's name.

Interim president Raul Castro again took his brother's place and presided over the country's biggest parade on Revolution Square in Havana.

Castro, who delegated powers to his sibling nine months ago in order to recover from stomach surgery, has not appeared in public since July 26. Information on his health remains a state secret.

Meanwhile, violence marred the day in Turkey, Macau and the Czech Republic.

More than 550 people were arrested in demonstrations organised by trade unions in Istanbul after authorities refused permission for a protest at a site of where 34 people were killed on May Day in 1977.

Meanwhile, in Prague, a number of people were arrested during brawls between members of Right and Left wing groups on the fringes of a May Day rally, reports said.

More peaceful demonstrations took place in Russia, Germany and Indonesia.

(With agency inputs)