Police clashed with opponents of the western military alliance, NATO during a protest rally in the southern Italian city of Naples, local media reported on Monday.

Iran Press/ Europe: The clashes erupted when a group, predominantly composed of youth carrying banners condemning NATO and chanting slogans against it and attempted to breach the security perimeter around San Carlo Theatre where a concert was scheduled to mark the alliance's 75th anniversary, Iran Press cited a report from the state-run ANSA news agency.

Several protesters were injured after being struck by police batons and inhaled teargas during the confrontation, it said.

Naples is home to NATO's Allied Joint Force Command and Defense College.

NATO was founded on the basis of the North Atlantic Treaty signed on April 4, 1949, to provide collective security against the Soviet Union.

The treaty was signed in Washington initially by 12 countries - Belgium, England, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Canada, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United States and France. Currently, the bloc has 32 members, almost all European countries except the United States, Canada and Turkey.

Anti-NATO sentiment has grown worldwide, including in member countries over the alliance’s policy of interference in other countries’ affairs. Russia is also opposed to the bloc’s eastward expansion, citing it as one of the reasons for Moscow’s military operation against Ukraine.


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