Police in the Polish capital arrested 215 people on Tuesday and used water cannons to push back several hundred masked men who threw stones and flares at lines of riot police.

Nationalist groups march through Warsaw each year to mark the anniversary of Polish independence, but for the fourth year in a row the procession turned violent.

When the march, involving tens of thousands of people, crossed a bridge over the Vistula river and reached the eastern bank near the national soccer stadium, a group of people broke away.

They tore up paving slabs and benches from a nearby bus station, and hurled them at police, who were dressed in white helmets and shields, a Reuters reporter said.

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