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French riot cops brutally pepper spray woman in the face and unleash tear gas on protester

French riot police maced a girl in the face and fired off tear gas in clashes with the "yellow vest" protesters in central Paris on Saturday.

The riots are the latest in a wave of demonstrations against the high cost of living that have shaken President Emmanuel Macron's authority.

 A woman was pictured confronting riot cops armed with shields and batons.

In the next image they let rip with mace sprayed directly in her eyes.

Other pictures show rioters with their eyes streaming after tear gas was unleashed on the protesters.

CONFRONT: The woman confronts the cops

MACED: The next instant the police unleash pepper spray in her eyes

 Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told online news site Brut: "We have prepared a robust response.

"The troublemakers can only be effective when they disguise themselves as yellow vests. Violence is never a good way to get what you want. Now is the time for discussion.”

Authorities said 575 people had been searched and briefly arrested and 361 people of them remained in custody after police found potential weapons such as hammers, baseball bats and metal petanque balls on them.

Demonstrator from the southwest region of Ariege, Gilles Noblet, said: "We took the train for 11 hours just to protest today.

“We feel scorned by these technocrats that govern us.”

Hundreds of protesters were milling around the Arc de Triomphe monument, which was defaced with anti-Macron graffiti last Saturday, when rioters also torched dozens of cars and looted shops in the worst rioting in Paris since May 1968.

A police spokeswoman told reporters there were about 1,500 protesters on the Champs Elysees boulevard.

Large groups of people spilled into other areas and heading to eastern Paris, where a march against climate change was scheduled for the afternoon.

GASSED: The cops unleashed tear gas on the crowds

PLEAD: Prime Minister Edouard Philippe appealed for restraint

Speaking on French TV, he implored: “We will do all we can so that today can be a day without violence, so that the dialogue that we started this week can continue in the best possible circumstances.”

On Tuesday, Philippe announced the government was suspending planned increases to fuel taxes for at least six months to help defuse weeks of protests, the first U-turn by Macron since he came to power 18 months ago.

About 89,000 police were deployed across France on Saturday, some 8,000 of them in Paris.

Source: Daily Star

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