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As it happened: Clashes break out at May Day protests in Paris

Zakaria Abdelkafi / AFP | Riot police officers and protesters clash in the district of Montparnasse, prior to the start of May Day demonstrations, in Paris on May 1, 2019.

Paris riot police fired teargas as they squared off against protesters throwing projectiles during May Day demonstrations in the French capital on Wednesday. Read our live blog to see how all the day's events unfolded.

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  • French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner had warned that between 1,000 and 2,000 “radical activists” could infiltrate union-organised protests.
  • Security was heightened amid fears of violence, with around 7,400 police deployed to Paris alone.
  • More than 230 demonstrations were organised nationwide. All were peaceful, with the exception of Paris, according to French labour union CGT.
  • The interior ministry said 164,000 people marched nationwide, while the CGT put the figure at almost twice as many.
  • Paris police said they arrested 220 people and carried out more than 15,000 pre-emptive searches.
  • More than 40,000 people, including unionists and Yellow Vests, participated in the Paris march, according to research institute Occurence.
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