Protester has hand RIPPED OFF during Yellow Vest march in Paris (GRAPHIC VIDEO)
RT video agency Ruptly's footage from the scene shows clouds of smoke billowing around the street as protesters and police clash outside the grounds of the National Assembly.
Video captured in the moments surrounding the horrific hand injury show a marked escalation between police and protesters. One police grenade was filmed exploding as protesters approached the device.
Eyewitness Cyprien Royer told RT France that he and the injured man were near the National Assembly, where a group of people dressed in black were trying to smash their way in.
“That guy was just observing. The police arrived and started throwing grenades,” Royer explained. “One grenade flew right under the guy’s feet, and he tried to instinctively push it away with his hand, he hit it, and the grenade went off.”
“He clutched onto us. We led him to the wall where there were no people. He was screaming, screaming, he was in an [awful] state," the witness added. "We called the ‘street medics,’ many came, they didn’t even understand at first he had his hand blown off.”
WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC IMAGES
The Ruptly crew who filmed the horrific aftermath of the blast injury say they rushed over after hearing an explosion, and found the injured protester surrounded by paramedics.
Medics quickly surrounded the injured man to provide emergency treatment before he was rushed to hospital by firefighters.
Police fired tear gas and flash grenades to deter protesters, while demonstrators threw the canisters back towards police and lobbed signs and pieces of boarding as projectiles.
The injured man was a photographer for the Yellow Vest movement, and Royer said he was taking pictures of people outside the National Assembly at the time.
Police in Paris fired tear gas among Yellow Vest protesters after clashes broke out on the city streets in the thirteenth week of demonstrations.
Video shared on social media earlier Saturday shows one protester lash out and kick a police officer in the face, prompting police to charge demonstrators and strike out with their batons.
Vehicles and trash cans were set alight as the protests rolled on.
According to figures from the French Interior Ministry, a total of 51,400 people took part in Saturday's Yellow Vest protests. Some 4,000 marched in Paris, while more crowds gathered in other French cities, including Marseille, Toulouse and Bordeaux. In Paris, 36 demonstrators were arrested.
On February 8, Yellow Vest organizers said they would no longer give officials prior notice of their rallies in Paris as the movement doesn't want to be “complicit in government violence" following a series of serious injuries to protesters during clashes with police.Also on rt.com ‘Due to police brutality’: Yellow Vests will no longer give officials prior notice of Paris protests