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France: Dramatic footage shows mass arrests at high school demo near Paris

Images of dozens of pupils being arrested in the French town of Mantes-la-Jolie, some 50 kilometres (32miles) from Paris, sparked outrage on Thursday.

The arrests came following violent clashes between police and students protesting against French President Emmanuel Macron’s educational reforms.

Police reportedly arrested around 153 people. Footage shows dozens of children and teenagers, some are believed to be as young as 12 years old, standing on their knees, with their hands behind their heads, guarded by a number of police officers in riot gear.

Protests turned violent in other high schools across the country, with some demonstrators reportedly throwing Molotov cocktails and glass bottles at officers and police using tear gas to quell the protests. As of Friday morning, demonstrations took place at some 700 high schools across France and 400 of them were closed as a result.

A wave of demonstrations has hit France in recent weeks, initially at Macron’s plans to raise petrol prices, which have snowballed to encompass a variety of issues such as the wealth gap, living conditions and other planned reforms.

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