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French police injured in clashes with Nantes airport protesters

media Gendarmes pass a burning shack at Notre-Dame-des-Landes on Monday Reuters/Stephane Mahe

Three police officers and one protester were injured in clashes at the controversial site of a planned airport near the western French city of Nantes on Monday morning. The violence follows a peaceful demonstration against the project on Saturday.

One of the gendarmes was hospitalised for burns received from a Molotov cocktail, police say, and two protesters have been arrested.

Parliamentary elections 2012

The clashes came when police tried to take up a position they had vacated for Saturday’s peaceful reclamation of the site for farming and ploughed through barricades set up by opponents of the project who have occupied the site.

Police claim that they were subjected to a planned attack from all sides and responded with teargas when attacked with slingshots and petrol bombs.

The controversial airport plan at Notre-Dame-des-Landes is dear to French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who used to be mayor of Nantes, and has split the government.

Construction was originally planned to start in 2017 but 2018 is now regarded as a more realistic date.

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