One dead and over 200 injured in fuel protests across France

French protester killed in accident at anti-fuel tax blockade

Demonstrators wearing yellow vests (Gilets Jaunes) protest against the rising of the fuel and oil prices on November 17, 2018 in front Carrefour Market in Givors, East-central France - French drivers seething over high fuel prices have vowed to snarl traffic across the country on November 17 in a widely supported protest that could prove the trickiest so far for French President.

At a blockade in the southeastern department of Savoie, a driver panicked when protesters surrounded her auto and she accelerated, hitting and killing a protester, French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said. By evening, 1200 protesters remained in the Place "protected by police", the Interior Ministry said.

Police deployed large forces to the areas where protests were held, but still apparently failed to bring the situation fully under control as, according to the Interior Ministry, 47 people were injured during the protests, with three in critical condition. Two more people were hit by a vehicle and one of them suffered serious injuries in the northern city of Arras and were taken to the hospital, according to local media.

Across France, an estimated 124,000 protesters targeted tollbooths, roundabouts and major roads, many wearing yellow jackets that all French drivers must keep in their vehicles in case of breakdowns.

Officials said 24 people have been detained and 17 held for questioning.

Over 280,000 people took to streets across France on Saturday in over 2,000 separate demonstrations across the country over government plans to introduce a new gas tax.

The protesters have dubbed themselves the "yellow jackets" because they wear fluorescent vests that all French drivers must keep in their vehicles in case of auto troubles.

Police fired tear gas when a group moved into a street near the presidential palace.

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The higher fuel taxes were approved in late 2017 but started to bite as oil prices surged in October, even though they have since eased off somewhat.

The taxes are part of Mr Macron's strategy of weaning France off fossil fuels. Many drivers see them as emblematic of a presidency that is disconnected from day-to-day economic difficulties.

With nearly 80 per cent of the public backing the "yellow vest" protests, the president held a crisis meeting to find ways of softening the impact on the poor and came up with a raft of sweeteners worth around €500 million.

People walk on the Champs Elysees in Paris to protest fuel taxes.

Macron's popularity has plunged, hovering around 30 per cent.

"We've had enough of it".

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner confirmed that there has been a fatality at a protest in Point-de-Beauvoisin, in the south-eastern region of Savoy, reports Le Parisien.

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