A total of 17 individuals were detained overnight on suspicion of setting a toll station on fire in southern France as "yellow vest" protesters continue blocking motorways to oppose French government's economic and fiscal reforms, state-run France Info radio reported on Tuesday.
According to the report, the 17 individuals were put in police custody on charges of torching barriers of Bandol toll in Var late on Monday night. Demonstrators have occupied the station when they started their movement and blocked motorways a month ago to express their anger over higher living costs.
Following the fire, the A50 motorway was closed for an indefinite period, it added.
Since Nov. 17, people wearing yellow vests, the high-visibility jackets all motorists in France carry in their cars, and which later symbolizes the social uprising, have sought to disrupt traffic on highways and roundabouts, as well as taking to the streets in French cities over the weekends.
Vinci Autoroutes, which operates most of the motorways in the south of France, estimated that the blockades and damages to facilities would cost the company "tens of millions of euros".
In a press release issued on Sunday, the company noted that more than 250 sites were impacted daily by protesters' actions, causing "considerable damage to equipment and infrastructure."