The protests ongoing in France became more ugly as the protestors looted and torched shops and businesses on the famed Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris.
This was on the 18th weekend of French “yellow vest” protests, characterised by a sharp increase in violence after weeks of dwindling turnout.
Such was the dire situation that President Emmanuel Macron had to cut short a skiing trip in the Pyrenees to return to Paris for a crisis meeting.
The rioters also looted several clothing stores and set fire to barricades in scenes reminiscent of the worst yellow-vest riots in Paris in December.
In a statement, the national police denounced the “mindless violence, cowardly attacks” and stressed their determination to guarantee public order against “provocateurs and vandals”.
In recent weeks, the protests have dwindled in size. But the interior ministry estimated the turnout in Paris Saturday at 10,000, out of around 32,300 nationwide.