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Youths clash with police in French pension protests

Youths clash with police in French pension protests
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While retirement is a long way off for secondary school pupils, up and down France, young demonstrators have been voicing their opposition to President Sarkozy’s pension reforms.

But peaceful protests that have disrupted hundreds of high schools don’t tell the full story.

In places, youths bent on violence have infiltrated the rallies, going on the rampage.

Riot police in the centre of Lyon responded with tear gas as projectiles were thrown, dozens of cars turned over and bus shelters and businesses attacked.

The main shopping street was turned into a war zone and authorities closed city centre metro stations as the security situation spiralled out of control.

Also, for the second day running, there was violence in Nanterre near Paris.

The government has promised to crack down on vandalism during the protests. More than 1,100 arrests have been made in connection with the disturbances in France over the last week.