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Videos: Protests turn violent in France as bombs spark vehicle explosion

French President Emmanuel Macron (
April 04, 2023

Recent protests in France grew violent with a vehicle explosion as over 3,000 police officers were on site to deal with over 10,000 protesters.

The demonstrations occurred at Saint Solines in central France, where climate activists led a gathering to protest a new agricultural irrigation infrastructure.

A total of 28 police officers were injured, including two serious injuries. Among the protesters, over 200 were reportedly injured over the last weekend of March.

“Support for the gendarmes and firefighters engaged under the authority of the @Prefet79 to ensure republican order in the face of an intolerable surge of violence in Sainte-Soline,” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne stated on Twitter.

“Unacceptable acts just like the irresponsibility of the radical speeches which encourage these actions,” she added.

Some protesters launched “fireworks mortars,” Roman candles and Molotov cocktails at the protest. The attacks to a police response that included tear gas and non-lethal projectile, according to Euro News.

Nationwide, over one million people across France have demonstrated against pension reforms in recent weeks, with violence sometimes breaking out. The violence has turned embarrassing for the government, as it stopped King Charles III from his planned visit to the nation.

“In view of yesterday’s announcement of a new national day of action against pension reform on Tuesday, March 28 in France, the visit of King Charles III, originally scheduled for March 26-29 in our country, will be postponed,” the Élysée Palace announced in a statement.

READ MORE: Over 1 million protest against new retirement age in France

“This decision was taken by the French and British governments, after a telephone exchange between the President of the Republic and the King this morning, in order to be able to welcome His Majesty King Charles III in conditions that correspond to our friendly relationship. This state visit will be rescheduled as soon as possible,” it continued.

The pension protests focused on President Emmanuel Macron proposing to increase the retirement age from 62 to 64 years old, NPR reported. He claims the change is needed to keep the nation financially stable.

Over 450 arrests have been made in the nation related to the widespread protests. The proposals, originally made in January, have led to strong demonstrations nationwide in the wake of the political move.