Appeal for calm following clashes in Martinique
FORT-DE-FRANCE, Martinique (AFP): The top official on the French island of Martinique has appealed for calm following violent confrontations with demonstrators in which shots were fired at police.
The Caribbean island’s prefect, Ange Mancini, made a "grave appeal" on television "for all of the population to remain calm and at home" and said additional police had been deployed on the streets of the capital Fort-de-France.
Ange Mancini. AFP PHOTO
Martinique has been paralyzed for over a month by strikes and demonstrations against the high cost of living, with a similar strike in Guadeloupe resolved earlier last week.
Violence first broke out on Friday in Fort-de-France on the margin of a demonstration by farmers and businessmen against the strikes.
Tensions then boiled over in the centre of the city near the strike headquarters at the trades union building, with protestors throwing rocks and bottles at police, who responded with tear gas.
Marcini said shotguns had been fired at police, lightly injuring three officers.