Demonstrator loses hand during Paris 'yellow vest' clashes with police

The protests have brought hundreds of thousands of people out onto the streets all over France.

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.

French police said Saturday that a yellow vest protester has sustained a hand injury in Paris as the 13th consecutive weekend of demonstrations grew tense on Saturday.

Police said that about 10 demonstrators have been arrested so far as scuffles broke out between protesters and police near the Champs-Elysees avenue and the National Assembly. Police could not confirm French media reports that the demonstrator's hand was blown up by a grenade used to disperse unruly crowds. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner expressed his "indignation and disgust" in a tweet.

"Yellow vests", who take their their name from the high-visibility jackets they wear, hurled stones and wooden planks at police, who responded with tear gas and baton charges.

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Such vehicles have been a common sight in Paris since deadly extremist attacks in 2015.

He added: "Every day the police protect our citizens from terrorism. These attacks are intolerable", Castaner said.

An image grab from an AFP TV video shows street-medics helping a "yellow vest" demonstrator (hidden) after he lost his hand during clashes outside the main parliament building in Paris, on February 9, 2019. But the Interior Ministry said the protests are much smaller than last week's.

Despite a drop in numbers from the massive turnouts of the first demonstrations in November, thousands still turned out in cities across the country to protest against French President Emmanuel Macron's policies.

Earlier Saturday, activists in Latvia staged a picket in front of the French embassy in Riga, the capital of the small Baltic EU country, to support the yellow vest movement and urge Latvians to demand higher living standards.

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