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Paris urges 'yellow vests' to call off rally

December 13, 2018

With France still reeling from the Strasbourg terrorist shooting, the government has called on the "yellow vest" protest movement to cancel its next rally. Meanwhile, a protester has died after being hit by a truck.

French police and the 'yellow vest' protesters
Image: Reuters/S. Mahe

Following weeks of riots and the recent Strasbourg shooting, French authorities asked the "yellow vest" protesters to be "reasonable" and call off a rally planned for Saturday.

"Our security forces have been deployed extensively these past few weeks," government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux told CNews television on Thursday.

"It would be better if everyone could go about their business calmly on Saturday, before the year-end celebrations with their families, instead of demonstrating and putting our security forces to work once again," he added.

The government was still mulling a ban on the next "yellow vest" rally, according to the official.

Read more: Can 'yellow vests' and Emmanuel Macron cooperate?

Another protester dies

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in the rallies since the protests escalated last month, with groups of protesters throwing stones and Molotov cocktails, destroying property, and getting into violent scuffles with the police. In turn, police were also blamed for using excessive force.

In a bid to placate the protesters, French President Emmanuel Macron pledged €10 billion ($11.3 billion) in concessions to the poor. However, participants seem determined to continue the marches.

Also on Thursday, the French authorities announced that a "yellow vest" protester was killed near the southern city of Avignon, bringing the total death toll to six. The 23-year-old was killed by a truck on at a roadblock erected by the protesters. The authorities detained the driver after he attempted to flee the scene.

Strasbourg attack

Cherif C., who is suspected of opening fire at the Strasbourg Christmas Market on Tuesday and killing at least three people, was shot dead by French police on Thursday evening.

France deployed an additional 1,800 additional soldiers to provide security across the country in the wake of the attack.

dj/sms (AP, Reuters)