French "Yellow Vests" Clash With Police in Nantes

French

Rival groups associated with the so-called Yellow Vest movement were involved in what appears to be a street brawl Saturday during the 13th week of protests against French President Emmanuel Macron.

One witness said the grenade that caused the injuries was sacked by riot cops to break up a crowd that had attempted to force their way into the National Assembly. Police responded with tear gas and anti-riot munitions.

One of the torched cars belonged to Sentinelle, France's anti-terrorism unit.

Paris demonstrators, who ended the 13th consecutive weekend of protest at the Eiffel Tower, set the vehicle ablaze in front of the famed monument.

Paris police said a demonstrator lost four fingers when riot officers stopped protesters from storming the National Assembly.

"He wanted to bat it away so it didn't explode by his leg - and it went off when he touched it", he added.

More than 5,000 of Saturday's protesters were in Paris, where there were 38 arrests following widespread rioting that saw several critical governmental and private infrastructure targeted.

"We mustn't give up", said pensioner Serge Mairesse, from Aubervilliers, just outside Paris.

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"The government has to come out of its virtual reality and enter the real world", said Annamaria Furlan, the head of the Italian Confederation of Workers' Trade Unions Cisl.

"It's all very good, the great debate, but we want something concrete: fewer taxes, more purchasing power".

About 4,000 marched in Paris, while demonstrations were held in other French cities, including Marseille, Toulouse, and Bordeaux.

Emergency services attend to a Yellow vest protester who has a serious hand injury in Paris, France, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019.

But last week's official estimates were disputed both by march organisers and an independent estimate carried out for news media.

In Rome, tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest the course of Italy's populist government.

Recent polls show his approval ratings rising. It was carried out on January 30 and 31. Government and opposition politicians have condemned the attacks.

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