The young climate activist has been showing solidarity with German protesters against the demolition of a village, which has become a symbol of resistance against fossil fuels.

Thunberg has denounced the German government's
Thunberg has denounced the German government's "shameful" decision to make "deals and compromises" with fossil fuel companies. (Reuters)

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has been hauled away and briefly detained during a protest near a German village being razed to make way for a coal mine expansion, police said.

Thunberg has been in Germany for several days to support protests against the demolition of Luetzerath, which have become a symbol of resistance against fossil fuels.

Images on Tuesday showed the activist, smiling and dressed in black, being picked up by police officers wearing helmets and then escorted to a waiting bus.

Police said a group of activists were detained after having "broken away from the demonstration" and running towards the edge of the open-cast coal mine.

They were taken away from the "danger zone" by bus, their identities were checked, and then they were released, a spokesman said.

The process took "several hours" as there were a large number of protesters, he said, without giving a precise figure.

The activists were not formally arrested, police said.

READ MORE: Protests hit Germany as country turns to coal amid gas shortage

Large-scale protest

Over the weekend, Thunberg joined thousands of demonstrators in a large-scale protest against the demolition of the hamlet, marching at the front of a procession.

Then on Monday, the last two climate activists occupying the hamlet to stop it from being razed left their underground hideout, marking the end of the police operation to evict them.

Protest planners accused authorities of "violence" after clashes between police and participants, which resulted in injuries on both sides.

Around 300 activists had occupied the village, staking out emptied buildings and constructing positions in the trees, to try to prevent the expansion of the adjacent Garzweiler open-cast coal mine.

Luetzerath has been deserted for some time by its original inhabitants, as plans move forward to expand the open-cast mine, one of the largest in Europe, operated by energy firm RWE.

RWE has permission for the expansion of the mine under a compromise agreement signed with the government, led by Social Democrat Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Under the deal agreed in October, Luetzerath will be demolished, while five neighbouring villages are spared.

The extension to the mine is deemed necessary to secure Germany's future energy supply. But activists argue extracting the coal will mean Germany misses targets under the key Paris climate agreements.

READ MORE: Thousands hit German streets to protest coal mine expansion

Source: TRTWorld and agencies