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14.07.2019 Europe

Protesters, police clash after Bastille Day parade

By RFI
REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
LISTEN JUL 14, 2019
REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

Bastille Day celebrations in Paris have been marred by violent clashes between police and protesters, with more than 170 detained in the capital, according to authorities.

European Union leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, joined Macron in Paris to watch the annual parade that included representatives of nine other European armies in a show of unity.

But the celebrations of France's national holiday were tarnished by clashes on the Champs-Elysées that recalled violence seen at the peak of the Yellow Vests protest movement over the past seven months.

Police fired tear gas to clear the avenue as protesters tore down security barriers and set fire to rubbish bins and portable toilets, AFP correspondents reported.

The parade itself went without a hitch. Some 4,300 members of the armed forces marched down the Champs-Elysées avenue in a tradition that dates back to the end of World War I.

But standing in an open-top command car alongside France's chief of staff General François Lecointre, Macron was met with jeers and whistles from supporters of the Yellow Vest movement.

(with AFP)

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