January 28, 2020
France withdraws from use an explosive tear gas grenade used by riot police and blamed for injuring numerous protesters, the interior minister said.
French authorities announced that controversial GLI-F4 explosive tear gas grenades would no longer be used by police.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said in a broadcast interview on Sunday that the tear gas canisters would not be used during demonstrations and protests. Castaner noted that the withdrawal of the grenades would be immediate.
FRANCE HAD BEEN THE ONLY COUNTRY IN EU THAT USING GLI-F4
Over the past two years, France has been gripped by nationwide demonstrations during which the canisters have been used to quell violence.
“It happened, several months ago, that the police were forced to use them to disengage from a threat, and that demonstrators who took them voluntarily in hand seriously injure themselves,” said Castaner, adding: “This is the reason why I think we have to remove the GLI-F4.”
Demonstrators have suffered severe injuries, from losing eyes to having entire hands torn off, because of the explosive munition.
GLI-F4 contain 25 grams of TNT — the explosive material commonly used in bombs — and act both as tear gas and sound grenades when detonated. They had been the most powerful grenade still in use by French police and security forces, after the 2014 ban on the F1 offensive grenade.