(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Twenty-four arrests were made in Paris before the start of fresh protests from the so-called "Yellow Vest" movement on Saturday in the capital and further afield.
Those involved had carried an illegal weapon or formed a group that possibly planned to commit acts of violence, a police spokeswoman told dpa on Saturday.
In Paris, Yellow Vest protesters gathered once again for the ninth weekend in a row.
Television footage showed hundreds of people in locations including Place de la Bastille donning the yellow safety jackets and carrying signs reading "Stop police violence" and "Macron step down."
An official headcount has yet to be released.
Elsewhere in France, in the central city of Bourges, around 1200 had assembled by midday (1100 GMT), according to local officials. All demonstrations had been peaceful so far, though 17 people had been preliminarily arrested by the early afternoon, a local government spokeswoman said.
A march outside of the city centre is supposed to take place later.
Some 80,000 security officials are to be deployed throughout the country on Saturday, including 5,000 in Paris.
The Yellow Vest protests have gripped France since mid-November, with demonstrators frequently involved in clashes with police.
By Christmas, it seemed support for the movement was dwindling, but with the turn of the New Year, the number of protesters picked up again.
Observers are now watching closely to see whether this weekend's protests indicate a return in momentum.
Last Saturday saw renewed violence in Paris, with protester numbers reaching 50,000, according to official estimates.
The largely leaderless movement originally called for a fuel tax to be scrapped, but some protesters have also called for French President Emmanuel Macron to be removed from office, among other measures.
Macron has announced a costly package of tax and pay measures in the meantime to address protesters' grievances, but the demonstrations continue around the country. They have even spread to other nations.