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Macron to deploy soldiers across France to maintain security during yellow vest protests this weekend

Yellow vest protesters march during a protest in Paris on Sunday February 17, 2019.Picture by Thibault Camus/AP

FRENCH President Emmanuel Macron has announced that soldiers will be deployed across the country to help maintain security during yellow vest protests planned this weekend.

Mr Macron said the military will secure government buildings and other sites to allow police forces to focus on maintaining public order, in comments reported by government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux.

About 7,000 soldiers, most armed with automatic weapons, are already deployed across the country in what the military calls Operation Sentinel, which was created to protect sensitive sites following deadly attacks in 2015.

The French government announced on Monday new security measures and a ban on yellow vest protests along the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris and in two other cities following riots on Saturday that left luxury shops ransacked and charred from arson fires.

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