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French police car set on fire in Republic Plaza during Paris protests

Terrifying video footage shows a Parisian police car being smashed to pieces and set ablaze while the officers are still inside.

In the shocking footage a violent mob hurls missiles and breaks the windows of the vehicle, on a day where police across France were themselves protesting at the excessive force used by protestors.

When one of the policemen is forced to exit the car he is set upon by a masked male who viciously attacks him.

When the officers then make a hasty retreat their vehicle erupts into a burning fireball.

A masked man throws a flare in the car while an officer is still inside

Terrifying video footage shows a Parisian police car being smashed to pieces and set ablaze while an officer is still inside

Paris in flames: Protesters set fire to police car during the Parisian police force's own protest against how aggressive protesters have been with officers in recent weeks

Paris in flames: Protesters set fire to police car during the Parisian police force’s own protest against how aggressive protesters have been with officers in recent weeks

Four men have reportedly been taken into custody on Thursday after the assault on the officers sitting inside their patrol car.

They each face attempted murder charges after a Molotov Cocktail was thrown into the rear window of the car.

Michel Cadot, the Paris Police Prefect, said the attack was ‘particularly shocking’, confirming four men aged between 19 and 22 had been arrested. 

The policeman is forced to exit the car
But he is set upon by a masked protestor who viciously attacks him

When the policeman is forced to exit the car he is set upon by a masked protestor who viciously attacks him

It was shortly after midday that activists torched the car by the Canal St Martin, before leaving a cardboard sign in front of it reading ‘roast chickens’.

‘Chickens’ is used as a slang word for police in France. 

Reports claim the car had munitions on board so there were fears it might explode.

Scary scenes: The officers make a hasty retreat down the road
Their car then erupts into a burning fireball

Scary scenes: As the officers make a hasty retreat down the road their car then erupts into a burning fireball

French police took to the streets in about 60 cities on Wednesday to denounce the hatred and violence they say has been repeatedly directed at them during protests against the government’s labor reforms. 

In the capital, protesting officers faced counter-protesters, who said the police themselves were instigating the violence, after which at least one police car was set on fire.

French discussions: The scene is pictured after the blaze, which took place near the capital's Republic Plaza on Wednesday

French discussions: The scene is pictured after the blaze, which took place near the capital’s Republic Plaza on Wednesday

True irony: Protesters turned up to protest against the police officers' protest the aggressions of protesters against police officers

True irony: Protesters turned up to protest against the police officers’ protest the aggressions of protesters against police officers

A few hundred officers gathered on the Place de la Republique in Paris, after which several hundred counter-demonstrators came by, chanting slogans like ‘Everybody hates the police!’ and pushing up against the officers until eventually the police deployed pepper spray to disperse the crowd.

Some counter-protesters set fire to a police car in a street nearby.

Vanina Giudicelli, one of the counter-protesters, told The Associated Press that the police gathering was ‘a real provocation.’

‘Since the first demonstration on March 9, we notice that they generate the violence. We have been sprayed by gas, hit with batons, arrested,’ she said.

Jean-Claude Delage, secretary general of the Alliance police union, denounced an ‘escalation of violence’ in the labor protests and said some people were harassing police officers with projectiles and Molotov cocktails and even hitting them with iron bars.

‘Troublemakers provoke clashes in the middle of peaceful protests. So it’s very complicated for police forces to isolate and arrest them,’ Delage explained on BFM television. 

Firefighters work on a police car set up on fire by counter demonstrators while police forces gather to denounce the almost daily violent clashes at protests against a labor reform

Firefighters work on a police car set up on fire by counter demonstrators while police forces gather to denounce the almost daily violent clashes at protests against a labor reform

French police across the country took to the streets to protest against what they describe as hatred directed at them

French police across the country took to the streets to protest against what they describe as hatred directed at them

Several hundred counter demonstrators came to Place de la Republique, chanting slogans and provoking the protesting police officers

Several hundred counter demonstrators came to Place de la Republique, chanting slogans and provoking the protesting police officers

Burn, burn, burn: The police car was soon engulfed in flames, and exploded in the street in Paris

Burn, burn, burn: The police car was soon engulfed in flames, and exploded in the street in Paris

True irony:c

Hundreds of counter-demonstrators came by,  pushing up against the officers until police had to use pepper spray to disperse them

French President Francois Hollande said Tuesday that over 350 police officers have been injured in clashes and 60 people have been convicted amid the labor reform protests.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says he is offering his ‘full support’ to police following the weekly Cabinet Council meeting. He said the police have instructions to take ‘firm action’ against those who take part in violent clashes.

‘Anti-cop hatred comes from a small portion of the population … but these 10 percent are very violent,’ Jean-Marc Falcone, general director of the police, told Europe 1 radio. 

Riot police officers secure the Place de la Republique before a police gathering to denounce the almost violent clashes at protests

Riot police officers secure the Place de la Republique before a police gathering to denounce the almost violent clashes at protests

At it again: Riot police officers cross a canal as they chase counter demonstrators on Wednesday

At it again: Riot police officers cross a canal as they chase counter demonstrators on Wednesday

Riot police officers were targeted with bottles, and used pepper spray to disperse the crowds

Riot police officers were targeted with bottles, and used pepper spray to disperse the crowds

Riot police officers face anti-police protesters ahead of their own  gathering at lunchtime on Wednesday

Riot police officers face anti-police protesters ahead of their own gathering at lunchtime on Wednesday

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