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Blockade puts pressure on French fuel supplies amid new terror warning

Demonstrations over pension reforms continue to target fuel supplies, leading to a rush to fill up at petrol stations.

Riot police officers walks by an overturned car during a students demonstration in Lyon today.
Riot police officers walks by an overturned car during a students demonstration in Lyon today.
Image: Laurent Cipriani/AP/Press Association Images

FEARS THAT PETROL STATIONS in France are running out of fuel are growing as motorists rush to fill up their cars.

A seventh day of oil refinery blockades as part of nationwide demonstration against pension reforms has seen about 1,500 petrol stations run dry or close to dry.

The BBC reports that Exxon Mobile described the situation as “critical”.

Prime Minister Francois Fillon said yesterday that there would be no fuel shortage in France, but motorists fearing shortfalls have been queuing to fill up at stations.

French second level students have clashed with police during continuing demonstrations against pension reforms which include raising the retirement age from 60 to 62:


Students at a high school in Nanterre said police tried to barricade the school to prevent students from participating in demonstrations. A car there was overturned and set alight, ITN reports, while riot police tackled youths in Lyon.

The BBC reports that truck drivers have joined in the escalating strikes, staging go-slow actions and joining the blockade of oil refineries.

New al-Qaeda threat

A fresh terror alert has been issued for France on the basis of information gleaned by the Saudi Arabian intelligence services.

France’s interior minister Brice Hortefeux said yesterday that the warning said that “al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was without doubt active or planning to be active in Europe, notably France”, Deutsche Welle reports.

Earlier this month, America issued a travel alert for US citizens travelling to Europe, but did not provide specific details on what action was anticipated.

In September, a female suicide bomber was reportedly planning an attack on French transport and the Eiffel Tower was evacuated twice after bomb warnings.

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