Macron: French soldiers won't be in charge of public order

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Tourists watch workers as they set up steel protections on the famed restaurant Fouquet's in Paris, Friday, March 22, 2019. French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that soldiers will be deployed across the country to help maintain security during yellow vest protests planned this weekend. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

French President Emmanuel Macron has addressed concerns about soldiers being deployed during yellow vest protests this weekend, saying they won't be in charge of maintaining public order.

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Speaking Friday in Brussels, Macron said soldiers will protect sensitive sites. He says "those trying to scare people, or to scare themselves, are wrong."

Paris military governor Bruno Leray said on FranceInfo radio that French soldiers are authorized to open fire if they are threatened or other people's lives are at stake. He said they will ensure counterterrorism missions only, allowing police forces to focus on ensuring security during the 19th round of weekly anti-government demonstrations.

The French government announced new security measures and a ban on yellow vest protests along the Champs-Elysees in Paris and in two other cities following last week's destructive riots.