WORLD

Security measures put lockdown on Paris ahead of planned protests

The government is scrambling to stave off another Saturday of burned cars and running street battles with police by "yellow vest" protesters furious over rising costs of living they blame on high taxes. An interior ministry official told reporters that authorities were bracing for "significant violence" on Saturday, based on indications that protesters on both the far right and far left are planning to converge on the capital.

Drastic security measures will put a lockdown on downtown Paris on Saturday as French authorities try to prevent another outbreak of violence during anti-government protests.

In addition to the 8,000 police forces that will be deployed in the French capital city, the Paris police prefect has identified 14 high-risk sectors that will be cleared out.

Fearing protesters could target street furniture or construction sites, Paris police will remove all the glass containers, railings and building machines set up in the identified sectors which include the Champs-Elysees avenue.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said 8,000 police would be deployed in Paris alongside a dozen armoured vehicles -- not used in urban areas since suburban youth riots in 2005 -- for crowd control as part of "exceptional" measures to contain the risk of violence.

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