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French police clash with firefighters at Paris demonstration

Firefighters brandish flares as they climb on the Statue of Republic Triumph at Nation square during a demonstration to protest against French government's plan to overhaul the country's retirement system in Paris, on January 28, 2020.
Firefighters brandish flares as they climb on the Statue of Republic Triumph at Nation square during a demonstration to protest against French government's plan to overhaul the country's retirement system in Paris, on January 28, 2020. AFP - BERTRAND GUAY

Scuffles broke out Tuesday between French police and angry firefighters demonstrating in Paris for better working conditions.

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Unions organised the Paris protest for fire service workers all over the country. They set off noisy firecrackers in the capital’s Place de la Republique to bring attention to their cause.

Participants want a raise in risk pay from 19% to 25% to fulfil their missions - which they say reductions in personnel have made increasingly difficult. They say attacks against them are also on the rise.

Paris police said firefighters who tried to break down or scale fencing near the Nation area of Paris were dispersed by water cannon.

Firefighters previously demonstrated in October and this earlier protest was marked by clashes with the police. One protester in the southern city of Dijon was seriously hit in the eye and has not recovered his vision.

(AP)

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