'Yellow vest' protest intensifies in France as it enters 13th week

Feb. 11 (UPI) — A protester lost four fingers, an anti-terrorism unit vehicle was set on fire and some 40 people were arrested in France over the weekend as “yellow vest” protests intensified.

In its 13th straight week, protesters again took to the streets of Paris and southern Frence cities to pressure President Emmanuel Macron to increase wages and lower taxes, the New York Times reported.

The 51,000 people who protested this past weekend was less than the week before and was about one-fifth the number of people who protested at the start the protests in mid-November.

As the protesters and police clashed Saturday in Paris, police fired tear gas into the crowd. One protester lost four fingers on his hand when a “sting-ball grenade” police use to disperse crowds exploded in his hand.

This is the second major injury in two weeks as another protester suffered an eye injury when the person was hit by a rubber bullet, NPR reported.

Protesters set several garbage cans and an anti-terrorism vehicle near the Eiffel tower on fire, an action Christophe Castaner, the French interior minister, called in a tweet indignant and disgusting.

“The soldiers of the Sentinel mission protect our compatriots every day from the risk of terrorism,” he said. “These attacks are intolerable.”

The perpetrators would be apprehended, he said.

In southern France, “yellow vest” leader Maxime Nicolle was denied from entering Italy where he was to join demonstrators there, Euronews reported.

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