Two Injured As French Riot Police Charge Protesting Farmers

SETE, France (AFP)--A policeman and a protester were injured Wednesday when riot police using tear gas battled farmers blocking an oil depot in southern France to protest over soaring fuel prices, an AFP reporter said.

The clashes at the depot near Sete on the Mediterranean coast lasted several minutes, with around a hundred farmers throwing objects at the police, who numbered around 50.

The farmers pulled back from the entrance to the depot but remained nearby after the altercation.

The incident came as fishermen called off strikes in key French ports, lifting a week-long blockade of France's largest oil refinery, but truckers and farmers stepped up their own protests over fuel prices.

Fishermen and truck drivers have been in the vanguard of a wave of protests across western Europe over rising fuel costs, as oil prices recently hit a global record of over $135 a barrel.