More than 100 police hurt in French May Day protests

More than 100 police hurt in French May Day protests
# 01 May 2023 22:46 (UTC +04:00)

At least 108 police officers have been injured in clashes across France with protesters angry at pension reforms, the interior minister has said, reports citing BBC.

Gerald Darmanin said such a large number of police wounded was extremely rare, adding that 291 people had been arrested during the unrest.

Hundreds of thousands have been taking part in May Day demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron's reforms.

Most were peaceful but radical groups threw petrol bombs and fireworks.

Police responded with tear gas and water cannon.

It is not clear how many protesters have been injured.

This is the latest day of mass action against changes that raise the state pension age from 62 to 64. The unions want the measures withdrawn.

The Interior Ministry put the overall number of demonstrators at 782,000, including 112,000 in the capital Paris, but the CGT union say the figure is three times that number.

In Paris, one police officer suffered serious burns to his hands and face when struck by a petrol bomb.

Violence also broke out in Lyons and Nantes, and there were reports that protesters briefly occupied a luxury hotel in the southern city of Marseille.