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February 10, 2019

Demonstrator loses hand at Paris ‘yellow vest’ march

AFP
February 10, 2019

PARIS: A "yellow vest" demonstrator lost his hand on Saturday during clashes outside the main parliament building in Paris, witnesses told AFP, during a 13th weekend of anti-government protests across France.

Despite a drop in numbers from the massive turnouts of the first demonstrations in November, thousands still turned out in cities across the country to protest against French President Emmanuel Macron’s policies.

Clashes broke out outside the National Assembly building in Paris after a march from the Champs-Elysees arrived there. While many demonstrators marched peacefully, some masked activists tried to break down barriers outside the parliament while others urinated outside. Masked men threw projectiles at police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades.

As the march continued on its way towards Boulevard Saint Michel, vandals targeted bus shelters, cars and shop windows along the route.

Volunteer medics at the National Assembly told AFP that a man had had his hand ripped off during the clashes between police and protesters. One witness who filmed the incident, 21-year-old Cyprien Royer, said it had been caused by a flash-ball grenade fired by police to disperse the crowd. Royer said the victim was a yellow jacket photographer "taking photos of people trying to break down the barriers protecting the entrance to the National Assembly", at around midday.