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Yellow vest protests Swiss firm defends riot control weapons after French injuries

French riot police move a burning scooter from the street

Thousands of protesters have clashed with police in France in recent weeks.

(Keystone)

The Swiss manufacturer of non-lethal firearms, that injured 'yellow vest' protesters in France, has defended its record. Brügger & Thomet (B&T) said the damage was caused by French produced munition that should not have been fired from its GL06 devices.

A French journalist, who witnessed confrontations between yellow vest protesters and police in Paris, says around 100 people were seriously injured by the devices. He describes eyes being shot out, skull fractures and serious lacerations.

B&Texternal link produces a range of armaments for both military and civilian law enforcement situations. The GL06 launcher device is designed to fire non-lethal ordinance to quell crowd disorders. Thousands of people have taken to the streets in France in the last weeks to protest against a new fuel tax.

The GL06 devices have been deployed by police in clashes with the crowds, resulting in serious injuries. In a statement B&T said these injuries would have been avoided had police used ordinance it also manufactures rather than the French produced munitions.

“It must be asserted that the LBD40 (GL06), together with the SIR munitions manufactured by B&T, is a precise and effective product that comes with little risk of injury. When using munitions of third-party manufacturers, in some cases precision decreases and the risk of injury rises significantly,” the company said in a statementexternal link.

“Regarding the accusations that the device is imprecise and dangerous, we must assert that – as mentioned previously – the munitions used are primarily responsible for action and precision. To attribute poor precision and an increased risk of injury to the launcher is therefore technically wrong.”

swissinfo.ch

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