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French police hit with poo bombs at ‘yellow vest’ protests

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Protesters hold flags of France, Picardie and one depicting Che Guevara during a “yellow vest” (gilets jaunes) anti-government demonstration in Lille, northern France, on March 2, 2019. – “Yellow vest” demonstrators took to the streets in France for a 16th consecutive week of nationwide protest against the French president’s policies and his top-down style of governing, high cost of living, government tax reforms and for more “social and economic justice.” (Photo by Philippe HUGUEN / AFP)

French police are facing a new form of a weapon during “yellow vest” protests — bags of fecal matter thrown bomb-like by demonstrators.

On Saturday “bags filled with faeces were thrown at police and exploded. Three policemen were soaked through with it,” Rudy Manna from the Alliance police trade union in the southern port city of Marseille told AFP.

One policeman also suffered an elbow injury when hit by “a poop-filled projectile”, Marseille police headquarters said.

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Similar incidents took place in the southern city of Montpellier, police trade union representatives said.

Police said there had been calls on social media ahead of Saturday’s demonstrations for demonstrators to arm themselves with ‘Caca-tovs’ — after Molotov cocktails but filled with “caca”, the French term for poo.

“The policemen were deeply humiliated,” Manna said, adding that none of the perpetrators, hidden in a crowd of about 1,000 demonstrators in Marseille, had been identified.

Saturday marked the 16th straight weekend of “yellow vest” demonstrations in France since November, which have often seen security forces targeted with stones and other projectiles.

Authorities said nearly 40,000 people took part.

A total of 11 people have died during the demonstrations which began over fuel taxes but mushroomed into a revolt by people in rural and small-town France against French President Emmanuel Macron.


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