Violence erupts in Martinique
FORT de FRANCE – Ten police officers were injured and several journalists shot at as protests sparked by Covid-19 vaccine measures spread across Martinique.
This follows more than a week of unrest on the nearby French island of Guadeloupe.
According to police reports, five officers were injured during a gun battle in Martinique and five others were injured when objects were thrown at them during operations.
Concerning the journalists – four were shot at by men on a motorbike as they worked Fort-de-France but none were injured.
A French government spokesman Gabriel Attal the unrest is “totally unacceptable” and promised that the rioters will be “dealt with”.
The protests on Guadeloupe were started by hardline opponents of compulsory vaccination for health workers and fire fighters on the island – a measure already implemented in mainland France.
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 the authorities in Paris.
The unrest is taking place as vaccination rates in the territories trail those on the mainland.
Strict night curfews were recently announced in both Martinique and Guadeloupe.
The leaders of the protest movement on Guadeloupe have asked for obligatory vaccinations to be dropped on the island – but this has been ruled out by the French government.
In an effort to address the situation, hundreds of police reinforcements have also been sent to the islands. (CMC)