French 'yellow vest' protester loses fingers in violent unrest

Gliet Jaunes protest

VIOLENT Police and protesters have clashed week on week in the French capital

Thousands of French "yellow vest" demonstrators marched on Saturday for their 13th weekend of action, with scuffles in Paris and a demonstrator's hand mangled by a small explosive.

Police used batons and fired tear gas in Paris to disperse demonstrators, some of whom threw debris at riot police hunkered down.

According to figures published by France's interior ministry, there were 12,100 protesters in total, 4,000 of them in Paris. down on the previous week's figures.

Protesters wearing yellow vests take part in a demonstration by the "yellow vests" movement in Paris, France February 9, 2019.

In a graphic video of the aftermath, French paramedics are seen gathered around the injured protester at the National Assembly gates, providing emergency medical treatment and preventing onlookers from getting too close.

Such vehicles have been a common sight in Paris since the deadly attacks by extremists in 2015.

"We're not children, we're adults", said Hugues Salone, a computer engineer from Paris, among the chanting and placard-waving protesters. "These attacks are intolerable".

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The first yellow vest day of protest in November brought 282,000 people out on to the streets across France, according to government figures.

Paris police said the man had lost four fingers.

French President Emmanuel Macron - the target of many demonstrators' anger - seems to be clawing back support from the public as he tries to address the movement's anger with a national political debate on economic injustice. Recent polls show Macron's approval ratings rising.

Leaders of the "yellow vest" movement have denounced the police for injuring protesters, but have also struggled to contain violence from their own lines.

The activists waved Latvia's red-and-white flag, shouting slogans like "the French have woken up, while Latvians remain asleep".

"The governments of France and Italy have their differences", he said.

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