By Editor-July 1st, 2023.
Rioting continued for a fourth successive night in several French cities in spite of a massive deployment of police and 1,311 arrests, with many cars and buildings set ablaze and stores looted.
This was going on as family and friends prepared Saturday to bury the 17-year-old whose killing by police has unleashed the unrest.
France’s Interior Ministry announced the new figure for arrests around the country, where 45,000 police officers fanned out in a so-far unsuccessful bid to quell days of violence that was triggered after the teen’s death on Tuesday.
Lyon was one of the worst-affected areas in last night’s riots.
French media reports that 35 officers were injured in and around the city, with two having to be hospitalised.
Eight public buildings – including a police station – were attacked and suffered severe damage.
More than 70 people were arrested. Police reportedly employed a helicopter, a drone and an armoured vehicle – and a city official told French broadcaster BFMTV that he fears Saturday will be another “extremely difficult night” unless the state sends in more police.
Despite an appeal to parents by President Emmanuel Macron to keep their children and adolescents at home, street clashes between young protesters and police raged on. About 2,500 fires were set and stores were ransacked, according to authorities.
Rituals to bid farewell to the teen, identified only as Nahel, who was killed in the Paris suburb of Nanterre, began on Saturday with a viewing of the open coffin by family and friends.
Later, the coffin was to be brought to a mosque for a ceremony, then to a Nanterre cemetery for burial.
French President Emmanuel Macron has cancelled his scheduled visit to Germany as a result of the unrest
The captain of the French national football team, Kylian Mbappé, has called for violence to give way to mourning, dialogue and reconciliation.
There were even some reports of rioting activity spreading to South America.
The worst violence so far was in French Guiana, where authorities said that police officers came under fire and that a stray bullet from rioters killed a 54-year-old government worker late Thursday, June 29, in the region’s capital city Cayenne.
Columns of thick black smoke rose above some neighborhoods in Cayenne, turning streets hazy as police tried to quell protesters in the small territory on the shoulder of South America. Authorities urged calm as the territory braced for another possible night of rioting. One man is reported killed.
Sources: ABC News, BBC, NPR, news agencies.