Riot police battled to control thousands of rival demonstrators taking part in an ill-tempered city centre protest organised by a controversial right-wing group.

Hundreds of officers, some horse-mounted and armed with batons, separated supporters of the English Defence League (EDL) and members of Unite Against Fascism (UAF).

Two officers were injured following ugly clashes: one fractured a finger, the other was bitten by a police dog. A police helicopter was also dispatched to assist the officers on the ground. There was a total of 67 arrests, 55 of which were UAF supporters and the remaining 12 EDL, police said.

The EDL organised the rally in Bolton, Lancashire, to protest against "radical Muslims" and Sharia law. At its height there were some 2,000 EDL and a further 1,500 UAF protestors.

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