Protests In Paris Leave 110 Injured And Hundreds Arrested In ‘Worst Riot In Decades’
More than 100 people have been injured in the third week of riots in Paris which has seen protesters scale the Arc de Triomphe.
Police have fired tear gas, stun grenades and water cannons as protesters hurled projectiles and started fires, according to BBC News.
At least 110 people have been injured, including 17 members of security forces and 270 arrests have been made in the French capital.
The gilet-jaunes (yellow vest) protests, named after the high-vis vests required to be carried in every vehicle by law, reportedly started against fuel tax have now spiralled from people’s anger at rising living costs.
One person was in a critical condition after a metal gate was pulled down at the Tuielries garden near the Louvre museum, which fell on several people.
An assault rifle was reportedly stolen from a police vehicle, however it is unclear if the weapon was loaded, a police source told AFP.
At least 75,000 people turned out across the country, the French interior minister said, adding nearly 190 fires were put out and six buildings were set ablaze.
One building on a major avenue near the Arc de Triomphe was set on fire and Metro stations were closed as a result of the riots.
Protesters from both sides of the political spectrum have reportedly come out to share their grievances on the Paris streets.
The BBC’s Paris correspondent, Hugh Schofield reported:
It is quite clear there were agitators or “casseurs” at the sharp end of the clashes with police. We saw groups of people both from the anarchist far left and from the nationalist far right. They were tooled up and ready for a fight.
The vast majority of “gilets jaunes” (yellow vests) who came to Paris to protest were not in that category. There were many who were happy to look on, jeering police and providing moral encouragement to the front lines.
And then there were the crowds who hung back – genuinely wanting nothing to do with the trouble. Inevitably even these people agreed it was the police who had started it all, by wanton use of tear gas.
The numbers were small, just a few thousand. But across the country the cause is extremely popular. They say – quite proudly – that they are the “sans-dents”, the great unwashed, the forgotten majority from the sticks. And they’ve had enough.
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