'Anti-fascists' clash with Paris police after vote

Anti-fascist demonstrators clash with police in Paris after the first round of voting in the country's presidential elections. Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen will contest the May 7 runoff, according to early projections

Police clashed with leftwingdemonstrators in Paris on Sunday shortly after early projections from the France's presidential elections showed far-right leader Marine Le Pen had made it to a runoff vote.

Police moved in on the demonstrators, some of whom threw bottles and firecrackers, an AFP journalist saw. Three people were arrested, according to police.

Several hundred young people rallied in the Bastille square -- the historic site where the 1789 French Revolution began -- after projections suggested Le Pen would contest the second round against Emmanuel Macron, a centrist and former banker.

A protest leader called on the public through a loudspeaker to rally "against Marine and against Macron." "We have come here to protest against the pantomime of this election," a demonstrator told AFP.

Another "anti-fascist demonstration" also took place late Sunday in the western coastal city of Nantes.

Le Pen's father, Jean-Marie, scored the first breakthrough in the French presidential elections by the National Front, winning a slot in the runoff in the 2002 ballot.

He was routed in a head-to-head contest by the centre-right incumbent, Jacques Chirac.