10 Police Hurt As Violence Spreads On French Caribbean Islands
FortdeFrance, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 26th Nov, 2021 ) :Ten police officers were injured and several journalists shot at on the French Caribbean island of Martinique overnight Thursday to Friday as protests sparked by Covid-19 vaccine measures spread.
Fresh violence was reported on the territory despite a night curfew, following more than a week of unrest on the nearby French island of Guadeloupe.
French government spokesman Gabriel Attal called the unrest "totally unacceptable" and promised "firmness" in dealing with the rioters.
The protests, which saw barricades set up on roads, have since morphed into a larger movement to express frustration at alleged neglect of the islands by Paris.
The territories are popular with moneyed tourists, but poverty levels and unemployment for locals are far higher than in mainland France, leading to long-standing grievances.
Vaccination rates in the territories also trail those on the mainland with less than half the population jabbed against Covid on Guadeloupe.
A strict night curfew was announced for Martinique on Thursday, mirroring a similar measure in place in Guadeloupe since November 19.
Hundreds of police reinforcements have also been sent to the islands.
The trip "cannot be organised under pressure and has to be part of an initiative to make clear and shared commitments", the aide added on condition of anonymity.