In Pictures: French firefighters clash with riot police in Paris

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In Pictures: French firefighters clash with riot police in Paris
"Firefighters in fury". Photo: AFP

A protest by thousands of French firefighters in Paris on Tuesday ended in violent clashes with police with video images showing riot officers using tear gas, batons and water canon on demonstrators. Three police officers were injured.


Paris has been the scene of numerous violent protests in recent months but usually the firefighters and riot police are on the same side.

But on Tuesday a protest by firefighters (pompiers) to call for better pay and working conditions descended into ugly clashes with riot police.

Videos from various points around Paris showed riot police charging firefighters with batons, whilst using tear gas and water canon to try to disperse the protesters.

READ ALSO Why are French firefighters protesting in the streets?

For their part police deplored the violence of some of those taking part in the protests and said three officers were left injured after being hit by objects.

Trouble broke out when firefighters tried to block traffic at various points in Paris including near the National Assembly and on the Peripherique ring road.






Some brandished banners with slogans such as "Do more with less, welcome to the fire service", while others hit out at what they described as "political contempt" for their cause.

"Our numbers are falling, but we're overwhelmed by the number of call-outs. 

We're being asked to do everything, even replace ambulances. At some point, we just can't do it any more," Mathias Gosse, a 53-year-old firefighter from southwest France, told AFP.

Firefighters' trade unions are demanding higher premiums for fighting fires, to bring them in line with the equivalent bonuses for police.

The firefighters hailed the demonstration a success, putting the number of protesters at between 7,000 and 10,000. Paris police put it at 7,400.

Professional firefighters represent just 16 percent of a total 247,000 throughout France, the vast majority of whom are volunteers.














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