November 22, 2014 / 8:28 PM / 3 years ago

Demonstrators clash with French police over protester death

Protesters attend a demonstration against police brutality in Nantes, western France, November 22, 2014.Stephane Mahe

TOULOUSE France (Reuters) - Protesters clashed with police in southern France on Saturday over the death of a young activist killed by a police grenade, in the latest of a series of demonstrations which have embarrassed the Socialist government.

At least 16 people were arrested in Toulouse after garbage containers were set on fire and bus stops smashed on the margins of an otherwise peaceful march where demonstrators held placards reading "End to the license to kill".

Remi Fraisse, 21, was killed last month by a so-called "offensive grenade" during a standoff between police and opponents of a dam project in wetlands near Toulouse. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve later ordered these devices banned.

Around 600 to 1,000 protesters marched in Toulouse and 1,200 in the western city of Nantes, where 14 were arrested.

The death has further soured relations between President Francois Hollande's Socialist government and the Green Party, a one-time government partner which said the government has not reacted properly to Fraisse's death and has accused Cazeneuve of initially hiding the truth.

The protests over the planned dam add to a growing number of environmental protests again infrastructure projects that have included stalled plans to build a new airport in Nantes. [ID:nL6N0LR0PT]

Reporting by Johanna Decorse in Toulouse and Guillaume Frouin in Nantes; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Stephen Powell

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