In what will come across as a rather shocking development, several angry protesters have set fire to police officers in public.
A police officer bursts into flames after being struck by a Molotov cocktail
Police officers in France were set on fire by Molotov cocktails in central Paris today as thousands took to the streets to protest against government labour reform.
According to The Sun UK, at least five were seriously injured around Place de la Republique, where a march ended just before 5pm.
CRS riot police initially used tear gas and baton charges to try and restore order, and then came under heavy attack themselves.
An eyewitness said: “Molotov cocktails are landing right on top of them. Police are getting badly hurt.”
Anarchists and other radicals wearing black hoodies and face masks could be seen throwing the improvised bombs, together with bricks and metal bars.
“We’re here to fight back against a corrupt government,” said Florent Gilbert, a 19-year-old student who had gathered with a group of around 100 agitators.
“The police are trying to clear the streets, but we have every right to show those in power what we think of them.”
As the violence intensified, acts of vandalism took place everywhere, as bus stops and shop fronts were attacked.
There were similar scenes in other French cities, including Nantes and Lyon during the latest round of protests against controversial reforms.
They were passed last summer with the aim of liberalising the employment market, making it easier for bosses to hire and fire.
But opponents say they are an attack on hard-won worker rights, all of which are now in peril.
The protest marks the 14th of its kind in six months, and saw more than 1,200 police turn up to keep order at the Paris march, which involved around 10,000 protestors.
In May a video emerged of a protestor setting fire to a police car close to Place de la Republique as two officers sat inside.
They managed to scramble to safety just before it burst into flames, as a crowd chanted: “Cops, pigs, killers!”Four people were later arrested and faced charges.
By 8pm there had been 62 arrests in Paris, and 32 people were put under formal criminal investigation for a range of public order offences.
At least five officers were being treated for injuries including burns.
Thousands continued to pour into the square, along with squads of riot police.
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