Death toll in French "yellow vest" protests rises to nine

PARIS, Dec 20 (Reuters) - The death toll linked to France's anti-government "yellow vest" protests has risen to nine, the government said on Thursday, as demonstrators kept up major disruptions of road traffic.

"There has been a ninth death, this morning in Agen, by a roundabout. It was a 'Yellow Vest' who was protesting outside but was not following roadway safety instructions," Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters.

Local officials said the latest victim, a man aged about 60, was hit by a truck near a motorway where demonstrators had been gathering.

Most of the nine deaths have occurred as a result of road accidents, since protesters have been blocking off roundabouts and damaging motorway toll booths.

Related: Protests in Nicaragua

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Protests in Nicaragua
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Protests in Nicaragua
People with goods looted from a store push shopping trolleys along a street after protests over a reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua, April 22, 2018. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A demonstrator fires a homemade mortar towards riot police during a protest over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
A demonstrator is seen next to a burning barricade during a protest over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
A demonstrator throws stones towards riot police during a protest over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
Riot policemen fire rubber bullets towards university students protesting over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
A demonstrator fires a homemade mortar towards riot police during a protest over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
Demonstrators past a barricade as they take part during a protest over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
Demonstrators walk past a barricade as they take part during a protest over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
Demonstrators take part in a protest over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
A demonstrator fires a homemade mortar towards riot police during a protest over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
Demonstrators take part during a protest over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
Demonstrators run past a burning barricade as they take part in a protest over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
A demonstrator fires a homemade mortar towards riot police during a protest over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
A riot police throws a tear gas canister towards demonstrators as they take part in a protest over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
Demonstrators take part in a protest over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
Demonstrators take part in a protest over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
Students cry next to the casket of student Alvaro Conrado, 15, during a mass at the Santo Domingo church in Managua, Nicaragua April 21, 2018. According to the nation's Red Cross, Conrado was shot dead during a protest over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS). REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
A demonstrator fires a homemade mortar towards riot police during a protest over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
A demonstrator fires a homemade mortar towards riot police during a protest over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
A demonstrator walks past burning tyres during a protest over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
Demonstrators are seen amid tear gas during a protest over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
Demonstrators are seen amid tear gas during a protest over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
A demonstrator kicks a tear gas canister during a protest over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
A demonstrator reacts to a tear gas canister during a protest over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
A petrol bomb explodes near riot policemen during clashes with university students protesting over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
A riot policemen reacts to an injured colleague during clashes with university students protesting over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
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The "gilets jaunes" (yellow vest) protesters - named after the high-visibility jackets French motorists must carry in their cars - launched their demonstration in mid-November to rally against fuel tax increases.

But the movement has since evolved into a wider backlash against the economic reforms of President Emmanuel Macron, and protests in Paris this month were marred by major outbreaks of violence and vandalism. (Reporting by Julie Carriat Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta/Inti Landauro and Mark Heinrich)

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