Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Nationwide protests calling for the French government to reduce fuel taxes continued on Wednesday as several thousand participants demonstrated and blocked roadways for a fifth day.
About 10,000 people wearing yellow vests continued to block roads as of Wednesday afternoon, down from as many as 290,000 on Saturday, Le Figaro newspaper reported citing police sources Wednesday.
La Reunion island, a French department in the Indian Ocean, faced the most violent demonstrations. On Tuesday night, different groups of protesters threw objects including crude incendiary devices at security forces amid attempts to pillage stores and other widespread violence, Le Figaro said.
In total, 30 members of France's security forces have been injured in Reunion, an island with a population of about 860,000, since the start of protests on Saturday.
Another report by Le Monde newspaper reported the violence in La Reunion continued Wednesday, with fires, confrontations and pillage attempts, and that the tensions there were the worst since 1991. All commercial activity in the island was paralyzed while more than a couple dozen blockades by the protesters remained in place.
In Paris, the protesters targeted areas of heavy commercial activity instead of highways. However, several highways points were blocked or saw protesters' attempts to impede traffic, Le Figaro said.
The movement took France by surprise as it declared no affiliation to any political party when it took to the streets Saturday.
There is another mass demonstration planned for this Saturday in Paris, with calls on Facebook for a meeting Saturday in the Place de la Concorde, one of the major public squares of Paris.
About 31,000 declared themselves as participants, and other 200,000 as interested, Le Figaro said. Several political leaders have said they plan to attend the meeting, it added.
Also on Wednesday, legislator Jean Lassalle caused an interruption of the National Assembly, or lower house of the Parliament, after he donned the yellow vest worn by protesters. The suspension came after he broke the rule of wearing neutral clothing, the report added.
Since Saturday, two people have died in accidents related to the demonstrations, while 552 have been injured in all of France. About 650 people were questioned and 500 taken into custody.
French President Emmanuel Macron has promised to act with "severity" against the protesters.