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Woman dies in France after driver ‘frightened’ by fuel price protesters ploughs through crowd

Woman dies in France after driver ‘frightened’ by fuel price protesters ploughs through crowd
Thousands-strong ‘yellow vests’ rallies in France over fuel price hikes have been marred by a death. A person was accidentally killed when a panicked motorist accelerated after being encircled by protesters, officials say.

More than 100,000 people joined the road blockades in 2,000 locations in France on Saturday, according to the Interior Ministry as cited by French media. The rallies were dubbed ‘yellow vests’ (gilets jaunes) for the high-visibility jackets used in case of breakdown and that were worn by the demonstrators.

The participants are venting their anger at rising fuel prices, with calls for the resignation of French President Emmanuel Macron getting louder as they blame him for the hikes.

As the rallies gained pace, a demonstration in Pont-de-Beauvoisin, southeast France, lead to tragedy. One woman was killed after protesters surrounded a car trying to make its way through the blockade. Authorities stated that the demonstrators started hitting the roof of the vehicle, and the panicked driver accelerated and ploughed into the crowed.

The woman behind the wheel is said to have been taking her daughter to the hospital. She was reportedly detained after the accident.

The rallies also led to around 50 people being injured in various accidents, French media cited the Interior Ministry as saying. Some 24 people were also arrested during the protests.

Footage circulating on Twitter shows some of the tensions of the day. One video captured people in yellow vests hitting a car in Chambery and smashing the window. The driver was forced to stop as several protesters ran after it and one even climbed on the roof. Police stepped in to try to fend off the crowd.

Another video shows a driver smashing into a police line and hitting an officer, and driving away for several meters while he was still on the hood.

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