Hunt on for protesters who attacked horses

Anti-lockdown protesters who kicked and attacked police horses with a flagpole in Melbourne are being hunted with photos of the assailants released.

A man and a woman are among five people police want to speak over their actions during the anti-lockdown protest at the Shrine of Remembrance on Friday.

A man in a balaclava and denim jacket, is wanted for questioning over allegations he attacked police horses with a flag pole at the protest, Victoria Police said.

A woman in a black tracksuit and a cap also kicked the animals at the protest, according to police.

The horses were not injured.

Two men are also wanted for damaging a police vehicle, while another is wanted for stealing a police hat.

Anyone who “deliberately and blatantly” breached directions from the Chief Health Officer can expect a strong police response, the force said in a statement.

Sixteen people were arrested and 96 were fined by the time the protests wrapped up after 5pm on Friday.

Three police officers were injured during the anti-lockdown protest and one officer was taken to hospital as a precaution.

The so-called “Freedom Day” march started at 2pm on Friday where hundreds gathered holding placards.

But the protests quickly turned violent, with flares lit up and hundreds of people blocked from accessing Flinders Street Station.

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