Police arrest nearly 1,000 people as protests continue for fourth day in France

World Saturday 01/July/2023 17:22 PM
Police arrest nearly 1,000 people as protests continue for fourth day in France

Paris: The protesters erected barricades, lit fires and shot fireworks at police in French streets as tensions grew over the fatal police shooting of a teenager that has shocked the nation. The police arrested nearly 1,000 people as the government struggled to restore order on the fourth day of unrest, CNN reported.

France's Interior Ministry, on Saturday, said that 994 people have been detained. It also said that 2,560 fires had been reported on public roads, with 1,350 cars burned, and there had been 234 incidents of damage or fire in buildings. Seventy-nine police and gendarmes were injured over Friday night and there had been 58 attacks on police and gendarme stations, it added.

There was an explosion in the Old Port of Marseille on Friday evening, according to BFMTV, but no casualties had been reported. It also shared a video showing damage to the Alcazar library in Marseille which it said had been vandalised during the night.

These developments take place after the death of the teenager, 17, identified as Nal after being stopped for a traffic violation in the Paris suburb town of Nanterre on Tuesday. The officer who is accused of shooting him was taken to jail.

A funeral for Nahel is scheduled to take place on Saturday morning.

Footage of the incident filmed by a bystander showed two officers standing on the driver's side of the car, one of whom fired his gun at the driver despite not appearing to be in any immediate danger, according to CNN.

The officer has said he fired his gun out of fear that the boy would run someone over with the car, according to Nanterre prosecutor Pascal Prache.

The officer currently faces a formal investigation for voluntary homicide and has been placed in preliminary detention.

On Friday, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced the "exceptional" mobilization of 45,000 police and gendarmes to avoid a fourth consecutive night of riots, CNN reported.

Amid burning debris, "vengeance pour Nael" which translates to "revenge for Nael" appeared to be spray painted on a wall in Nanterre with regards to the slain teenager and using an alternative spelling of his name, the report said.

A bank was set on fire in Nanterre and 15 people were taken in by police for questioning after a march was carried out in memory of the teenager became violent. Protesters threw fireworks at police officers in Marseille, CNN reported citing BFMTV. Six people were taken by police for questioning after they took part in a protest barred by authorities in Lille, the regional authority in a Facebook post, CNN reported.