Man dies during protests on French island Mayotte

A protester died on Wednesday as police clashed with demonstrators in Mayotte, a French island in the Indian Ocean that has been paralysed for three weeks by social unrest.

Local police said the 39-year-old man, Ali El Anziz, apparently died of a heart attack while taking part in demonstrations against soaring food prices. An autopsy would be conducted to confirm the suspicion, police said.

His death came as police and protesters clashed in the capital Mamoudzou following weeks of demonstrations.

“The police… were targeted by thrown stones,” Mayotte prefect Thomas Degos said.

“They responded using tear gas grenades and flashballs,” he said, referring to a non-lethal firearm developed for riot police in France. “During the clashes a protester collapsed unconscious on the ground.”

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