Ten arrests in French Caribbean territories after violent protests

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Ten arrests in French Caribbean territories after violent protests

PARIS, Nov 26, Reuters - Authorities in France's Caribbean territories made ten arrests after several police were injured during the violent protests there against COVID 19 curbs, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Friday.

Martinique and the neighboring Guadeloupe have been hit by unrest over the last week after the French government imposed tougher measures to control the spread of the disease.

Security forces and journalists had been attacked and fired at both islands, according to Darmanin. Several police officers have been injured on Twitter, he said.

Local authorities in Martinique imposed a curfew on Thursday after protesters looted shops and set up burning barricades.

Prosecutors said masked protesters had tried to set fire to the gate of the official residence of the prefect, the most senior representative of the French central state there, but no significant damage had been caused.

The introduction of compulsory vaccination for health workers in the rest of France has caused resentment among the islands' majority Black population.

Some people have called the mandate a throwback to France's slavery era, insisting that they should be allowed to make their own choices about health treatment. Protesters are calling for salary hikes and lower energy prices.

There were protests last week in Guadeloupe.