Man threatens to set off grenade unless he meets Macron in west France
A man wearing a yellow jacket, a vest of high visibility drivers keep in their cars and which symbolizes the social action against higher fuel tax in France, threatened to set off a grenade near a petrol station in the western French town of Angers, asking to meet French President Emmanuel Macron, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said on Friday.
Protesters wearing yellow jackets block a crossroads in Saint-Maximin, southern France, Monday, Nov.19, 2018. The protests reflect broader frustration at President Emmanuel Macron, whose government is sticking to the fuel tax rise as part of efforts to clean up the environment. [Photo:AP]
"A man wearing a yellow vest showed a grenade, said he was carrying other explosives and had demanded to see President Emmanuel Macron," Castaner told reporters.
The raid forces and bomb-disposal experts have already been sent to the site "to evaluate the situation and the real risks," the minister said.
A police operation is underway to neutralize the man who, according to BFMTV news channel, was known for drug trafficking.
For a week, protesters of "Yellow Vests" action have blocked highways across French cities with burning barricades and slow-moving trucks, obstructing the access to fuel depots, shopping centers and some factories.
On Saturday, France would face further social movement and blockades across the country's cities to oppose a government plan to hike tax on fuel.
In his plan to accelerate energy transition and encourage motorists to switch to clean cars, the French president introduced higher tax on diesel, the most commonly used car fuel in France, igniting critics who accused him of being out of touch with ordinary people.