Europe

One dead, dozens hurt in French 'yellow vests' protest over rising fuel prices

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A protester in France has been killed after a driver accelerated in a panic, while dozens of others have been injured around the nation in demonstrations.

A protester has died and dozens have been injured during roadblocks set up around France to demonstrate against rising fuel taxes.

Police officers have lobbed tear gas canisters at demonstrators on the Champs-Elysees in Paris as groups tried to make their way to the presidential Elysee Palace.

Hundreds of protesters entered the bottom of the street and were pushed back by riot police, who raised their shields.

The 'yellow jackets' protesters. (AAP)

Protesters took over the Place de la Concorde at the bottom of the avenue, shouting "Macron resign", in reference to President Emmanuel Macron, as police looked on.

French interior ministry officials estimated that about 244,000 protesters were involved in thousands of demonstrations around the country on Saturday, many of them spontaneous.

The protester who died, a 63-year-old woman, was killed when a driver caught in traffic accelerated in a panic at Pont-de-Beauvoisin, near Chambery, according to Louis Laugier, the top state official in the eastern Savoie region.

According to various French media reports, people knocked on the woman's car as she tried to take her daughter to a hospital. An investigation has been opened.

At least 106 people were injured across the country, including five seriously, according to the interior ministry.

Thirty-eight people were taken into custody.

Protesters, wearing yellow safety vests and dubbing themselves the "yellow jackets", pledged to target tollbooths, roundabouts and the bypass that rings Paris.

The rise in fuel taxes is part of Macron's strategy to wean France off fossil fuels.

Many drivers see it as emblematic of a presidency they view as disconnected from day-to-day economic difficulties and serving the rich.

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