'French soldiers will be permitted to 'open fire' if lives are threatened by Yellow Vest rioters this weekend, the military governor of Paris said today.
General Bruno Leray's ominous words highlight the growing law and order crisis faced by President Emmanuel Macron as he faces up to the increasingly violent social movement.
It has now been confirmed that the French Army will support some 5,000 police trying to keep order during the 19th Yellow Vest Saturday demonstration in a row in Paris at the weekend.
General Leray told Franceinfo Radio on Friday: 'If their life or that of the people they defend is threatened, they can go up to opening fire.'
There was widespread rioting across the French capital last Saturday, with banks, high-end shops, and restaurants looted and burnt out.
Police took part in running battles with the Yellow Vests, who are named after their high visibility motoring jackets, using teargas, baton charges and water canon to try and restrain them.
But despite 250 plus arrests and numerous serious injuries, scenes of anarchy were broadcast all over the world.
General Leray said an unspecified number of soldiers mainly used for anti-terrorism duties would be defending public buildings this Saturday.
'They are subject to the same legal framework as the internal security forces,' he added, while conceding that soldiers have 'different ways of coping' with trouble.'
Read more: REVEALED: French soldiers will be allowed to 'OPEN FIRE' if lives are threatened by Yellow Vest protestors this weekend as the military is drafted in to help 5,000 police on the streets of Paris
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