Woman killed, 47 injured during fuel tax protest, French officials say

Petrol station

An investigation was underway in the death of a protester in the eastern Savoie region, hit by a driver who apparently accelerated in a panic while caught in the demonstration, according to a regional official.

The protests also reflect longstanding anger among many in rural and small-town France who say the government in Paris doesn't understand the challenges facing the vast majority of the French.

According to the French Ministry of Internal Affairs, about 1,000 protests are now underway, in which 50,000 people are taking part across the country.

Officials say 24 people have been arrested and 17 held for questioning.

A woman has died and 47 people are injured as people block roads around France to protest against rising fuel taxes.

The Interior Ministry said security forces used tear gas in several places to unblock major routes, notably at the access road to the Mont Blanc tunnel where about 30 canisters were fired.

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Protesters pledged to target tollbooths, roundabouts and the Paris orbital bypass on Saturday.

In Paris, a group of some 50 protesters were yelling "Macron resign!" on the Champs Elysee, though police were stopping them from heading toward the nearby Elysee Palace, the president's residence.

The government sent in police to monitor tens of thousands of gathering points, some non-declared in advance and therefore illegal.

The taxes they are angry about are part of President Emmanuel Macron's strategy to move France away from fossil fuels. Many drivers see them as emblematic of a presidency that is disconnected from day-to-day economic difficulties.

People wearing yellow vests, a symbol of a French drivers' nationwide protest against higher fuel prices. In the northern town of Hazebrouck, a lorry driver mounted a pavement and injured two protesters.

"We've had enough of it".

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