France protests: Hundreds arrested and police officers injured in May Day clashes

More than 290 arrests have been made and over 100 police officers have been injured following clashes between officers and protesters in France, officials have said.

Union-led demonstrations took place in Paris as part of May Day rallies across Europe.

Protesters in the French capital - where 90 arrests have been made - also threw fireworks and damaged bus stops, while police responded by firing tear gas.

France's interior minister Gerald Darmanin said the majority of protests in France were peaceful, but claimed in Paris, Lyon and Nantes "police are faced with extremely violent thugs who have come with one objective, to kill police officers and attack the property of others".

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"This violence must be condemned without reservation," he added.

He said 291 arrests have been made across the country with 108 police officers injured during clashes.

A total of 112,000 people gathered for the protests in Paris, according to police in the city, from a total of 782,000 people nationwide.

Unions in the country had expected hundreds and thousands of people to come out to show their support on the first May Day since President Emmanuel Macron's controversial pensions reforms.

New laws have seen the retirement age increased from 62 to 64.

Trade unions had called for a large turnout in a bid to reverse the controversial reforms.

May Day, which falls on 1 May, is observed in many countries as a day to celebrate workers' rights with rallies, marches and other events.

French police clashed with protesters using tear gas as demonstrators pelted officers with Molotov cocktails, fireworks, torched ride-sharing bicycles and smashed up bus stops.

In Lyon and Nantes some vehicles were set on fire and business premises were trashed.