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Clashes at Saturday's protest against the construction of a large reservoir to irrigate farms in western France have left dozens of police officers injured, authorities said.
received 61 people, including 22 were seriously injured. Police officers were attacked by protesters with fireworks and Molotov cocktails. Police had to fire tear gas to keep protesters out of the reservoir construction site.
French Agriculture Minister Marc Fenault condemned the violence against the police and criticized the protesters for “intention to block a project developed locally for many years.” years.
Other officials criticized the Greens for organizing the protest.
A severe drought in France this summer has exacerbated disputes over water resources in the EU's largest agricultural sector. Some farmers supported artificial reservoirs as a way to use water efficiently, but critics denounced them as too large and favoring large farms.
Green Party officials who joined the protest blamed the authorities for an excessive presence of security forces, which mobilized more than 1,500 police officers.
“All this to protect the water intake in the midst of a drought,” — MP Sandrine Rousseau tweeted.
According to the prefect, four protesters were injured and six were arrested.
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