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Shocking footage shows parts of Paris in flames as riot police use force to disperse the large crowds in the French Capital. French Police fired tear gas along the Avenue de Wagram near the centre of Paris and made more than 200 arrests during the disturbances.
Several hundred demonstrators had gathered at two squares in the Paris, but officials say one group left the designated route.
Disturbing pictures show a black BMW car on fire, streets barricaded and a green wheelie bin ablaze, near the Champs-Elysees.
Officers say they also confiscated weapons including hammers, screwdrivers, and empty bottles of whiskey.
Police, who continued to fire tear gas into the mid-afternoon to break up small groups of protesters, said they had arrested 222 people by 1.45pm (GMT).
Many were arrested for carrying items like tools that could be used as weapons.
Planned yellow vest demonstrations also took place in the French cities of Marseille, Nice, Lyon, Lille, Nantes and Strasbourg.
The French authorities had banned protests in a central zone including the Champs-Elysees – the scene of rioting at the height of the yellow vest movement nearly two years ago.
The riots were triggered in 2018 following a dispute over French President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial plans to increase fuel taxes.
The dispute resulted in widespread protests across the country which lasted for 70 consecutive Saturdays.
The last gathering took place on March 14 – three days before France went into a nationwide lockdown.
The resurgence of high-visibility jacket protests comes as France desperately battles with a worrying surge in coronavirus cases.
On Thursday, France recorded its highest ever daily number of new infections with almost 10,000 coronavirus cases.
The French Health ministry reported 9,843 new cases on Thursday, followed by 9,406 new infections on Friday.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex said the Government is not planning a new nationwide lockdown despite the surge in cases.
Mr Castex said the rise in infections was particularly worrying in three areas – the cities of Marseille and Bordeaux, and the French Caribbean territory of Guadeloupe.
In a televised speech, Mr Castex said new measures would include fast-tracked testing for priority cases to reduce time spent waiting for results, and targeted restrictions in areas hit especially hard.
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He said: “The virus is with us for several more months and we must manage to live with it without letting ourselves get drawn once again into a narrative of nationwide lockdown.”
The French Prime Minister also urged the public to be more disciplined about social distancing, washing their hands and wearing masks.
He added: “I solemnly appeal today to the sense of responsibility of each one of you.
“The only way we will succeed in stopping this epidemic is if all of us are vigilant and stick together.”
France has the seventh highest coronavirus death toll in the world at 30,893 after a further 80 deaths were recorded on Friday.
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