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12 Dec, 2018 10:27

Strasbourg attack not a govt conspiracy to undermine Yellow Vests – Interior Ministry official

Strasbourg attack not a govt conspiracy to undermine Yellow Vests – Interior Ministry official

The Strasbourg shooting, which claimed two lives on Tuesday night, was not a secret government ploy to undermine the mass protests gripping France for weeks, contrary to rumors online, a senior official has said.

Secretary of State for the Interior Ministry Laurent Nuñez said he was “outraged” by claims that the attack in Strasbourg may benefit the government in its struggle against the so-called Yellow Vest movement.

“I don’t understand how anybody could imagine this… We should call it for what it is – such ideas are obviously coming from conspiracy theorists,” he told the media.

According to tweets and other remarks, such conspiracy theories flourish among the ranks of the ‘Yellow Vests’. And this is yet another proof. Saying such things is, frankly speaking, disgraceful.

In the wake of the shooting, all mass gatherings had been banned in Strasbourg by the government. No restrictions were placed on public events in other parts of France though.

Also on rt.com Strasbourg shooting: 2 killed, 14 injured in terrorist attack on Christmas market (VIDEO)

The Yellow Vests or Gilets Jaunes is the movement which stemmed from opposition to the French government’s economic reforms. They took the name after the safety clothing of motorists, adopted as a symbol of resistance to a hike in fuel tax, the move that turned brewing discontent into mass protests in mid-November.

This month, the mass protests escalated into clashes with riot police and mass vandalism on a scale unseen for years in France. Their demands also changed, as they started calling for the resignation of the government, possibly fueled by limited economic concessions combined with a heavy-handed police response to the protests.

The shooting in Strasbourg’s old city left two people dead and 14 injured in an apparent act of terrorism targeting people visiting a Christmas market. The shooter was identified as a local man, who had been placed on the police watch list over possible radicalization. He is believed to have been arrested and searched prior to the attack in connection with a homicide-robbery case.

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