Paris: At least 288 people have been arrested and some 100 others injured as protesters took to the streets of Paris against rising fuel prices, clashing with riot police, authorities said.
Saturday’s protests marked the third consecutive week of such demonstrations, although with an estimated 36,500 participants across the country they were smaller than those in weeks past, according to the French Interior Ministry.
Last week, about 53,000 participated and there were about 113,000 the week before.
“All the police, the gendarmes and civil security forces were mobilised,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said, adding that 65,000 agents had been deployed around the country and 4,000 in Paris, a number that proved insufficient to deal with the 3,000 violent protesters identified by the authorities.
As the day wore on, the area surrounding the Champs Elysees began to look like a war zone, with protesters launching Molotov cocktails and cobblestones at police who responded with tear gas and water cannon.A government spokesperson said a state of emergency could be imposed to tackle the unrest.
Protests over fuel tax have grown into general anger at higher living costs.(IANS)