PARIS: Forty people were hurt and dozens arrested on Tuesday as violence between riot police and masked troublemakers gripped huge Paris protests over France’s labor reforms.
Police fired water cannon in the south of the capital to quell rioters as “several hundred” masked protesters lobbed objects at security forces in bloody scenes in the French capital.
As tens of thousands of people took to the streets in nationwide protests against the controversial labor reforms, strikes closed the Eiffel Tower and disrupted transport links.
Police said 29 members of the security forces were among those wounded in Paris, while three cars were burned on the city streets.
The international spotlight is on France as the host of the Euro 2016 football championships, which have also been marred by violence between fans.
Tens of thousands of fans are continuing to pour into the country for Europe’s showcase football event.
In Paris, several demonstrators stormed a building site and hurled wooden pallets at riot police.
Protesters shouting “Paris, rise up” and “everyone hates the police” smashed shop windows and targeted banks in running battles with officers.
One man was led away by officers in riot gear with blood dripping from a wound above his eye onto his white T-shirt.
The strikes were the latest in months of industrial action that have caused severe disruptions to air and rail transport, hit fuel supplies and led to mountains of rubbish on the streets of Paris.