Anti-government protesters torched dozens of cars and set fire to storefronts during clashes with riot police across central Paris, as thousands took part in fresh “yellow vest” protests against high fuel taxes.
Officers responded with tear gas after being targeted by protesters hurling rocks and other projectiles on the third weekend of demonstrations which have morphed into a broader rebuke of French President Emmanuel Macron.
Smoke engulfed several shopping districts as the violence spread from the Arc De Triomphe, where crowds had gathered earlier hoping to march down the champs-elysees.
While several dozens were allowed into the avenue after an id check and search, many others, some wearing gas masks or ski goggles remained behind and fought police manning barricades and water cannons.
Protesters then led police on cat-and-mouse chases through other parts of the capital, setting cars and construction equipment alight and smashing windows.
One person was in a critical condition after protesters pulled down one of the huge iron gates of the Tuileries garden facing the famed Louvre museum, crushing several people.
Authorities said at least 287 people were arrested in Paris and 110 injured, including 17 of the 5,000 police officers mobilized for the protests. Nearly 190 fires were put out and six buildings were set alight.