Police in Paris have fired rubber bullets and tear gas as a fourth weekend of anti-government protests across France turned violent.

The French interior ministry said 118 people had been injured in the protests in several cities, including 17 law enforcement officers.

More than 500 people have been taken into custody.

The “yellow vest” movement opposed fuel tax rises but ministers say it has been hijacked by “ultra-violent” protesters.

An estimated 125,000 demonstrators gathered across the country during the day, with 10,000 of them in the capital, where the scenes were the most destructive.

In a television address on Saturday evening, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the “casseurs” (troublemakers) were still at work.

He called for more communication between the government and protesters to resolve the conflict. “The dialogue has begun,” he said. “It is now necessary to rebuild the national unity.”

Apart from Paris, there were demonstrations in several other cities on Saturday including Lyon, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille and Grenoble.

Protests against climate change have also been held place in Paris and other cities.

There have been a number of confrontations in the capital. Some protesters have been seen smashing shop fronts, setting fire to cars and painting walls with graffiti.

Video footage showed one demonstrator being hit in the torso with a rubber bullet while standing in front of a line of police with his hands up. At least three members of the press were also hit.

Water cannon were deployed on a street east of the city centre.

Source: BBC


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