Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin says police arrested 95 people while 67 officers were injured during violent street clashes over a controversial security bill.

A protester, surrounded by smoke of tear gas, gestures during a demonstration for 'social rights' and against the 'global security' draft law in Paris, on December 5, 2020.
A protester, surrounded by smoke of tear gas, gestures during a demonstration for 'social rights' and against the 'global security' draft law in Paris, on December 5, 2020. (AFP)

Scores of protesters have been arrested and dozens of police officers injured during the violent demonstrations against a controversial security bill and police brutality in France. 

Police arrested 95 people during protests and 67 officers were injured during the demonstrations, Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin said on Sunday. 

In Paris, the site of the worst violence, 48 police officers or gendarmes were injured during Saturday's violent street clashes.

A firefighter was also injured in the capital after being hit by a projectile, a police source said.

Paris police held 25 people, including two minors, said the prosecutors' office.

READ MORE: UN experts: France must revise police bill infringing on human rights

Major headache for Macron

It was the second straight weekend France has seen demonstrations against ongoing violence by police and new legislation forbidding disseminating images of police taken while on duty.

The security bill is currently going through the French Parliament.

The weekly nationwide protests are becoming a major headache for President Emmanuel Macron's government, with tensions intensified by the beating of a Black music producer by police last month.

On Saturday, demonstrators clashed with police, vehicles were set alight, and shop windows smashed.

Paris city officials and others also expressed outrage over the way police broke up an improvised migrant camp in the heart of Paris in November.

Interior Minister Darmanin has ordered an investigation into the incident.

READ MORE: Macron denies France is stifling freedoms amid crackdown on Muslims

Numbers of protesters down

The numbers demonstrating on Saturday were significantly down, with the nationwide figure at 52,350 against 133,000 a week earlier, the interior ministry said.

Around 5,000 people demonstrated in Paris against 46,000 last week, it added. A police source on Saturday blamed the violence on 400 to 500 radical elements.

There were also clashes in the eastern city of Nantes, where four officers and a gendarme were injured, one of them by a Molotov cocktail, said local officials.

There was violence, too, in the eastern city of Lyon.

Source: AFP