Fifth night of Paris protests witness clashes between police, demonstrators

02 Jul 2023 12:10pm
Fifth night of Paris protests witness clashes between police and protesters. - Photo: AFP
Fifth night of Paris protests witness clashes between police and protesters. - Photo: AFP

ANKARA, Turkey - Protests in France after the police killing of a teen earlier this week, entered a fifth straight night Saturday with clashes between protesters and police, and allegations of involvement by far-right groups.

Footage on social media depicted protesters setting fires at various locations throughout Paris, reported Anadolu Agency.

Demonstrators launched fireworks at police in the capital while simultaneously setting barricades ablaze in the popular neighbourhood of Barbes.

As the iconic Champs-Elysees Avenue once again became crowded with protesters following a recent evacuation, the heightened presence of police forces drew attention.

Twitter footage showed protesters in Paris launching fireworks at patrolling motorcycle officers, forcing them to retreat.

Police maintained patrols around the partially evacuated tourist hotspot of Champs-Elysees Avenue but clashes between law enforcement and demonstrators erupted on narrow streets as they attempted to prevent looting and vandalism.

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne arrived at a crisis centre in Paris and that operates under the Interior Ministry in response to the incidents.

"I have come here to reaffirm my full support and that of my government to them," Borne wrote on Twitter.

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"Tonight, 45,000 police officers and gendarmes, along with thousands of firefighters, are mobilised to protect and uphold public order.

Videos online show chaotic scenes unfolding in various cities including Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Strasbourg and Nice.

French broadcaster BFMTV reported that several mayors requested more assistance from the government to restore order.

Allegations have emerged that far-right and masked groups resorted to assaulting protesters in Angers and Chambery.

Sn extremist group in Angers dispersed after being targeted by a group of protesters, according to Twitter posts.

In other footage reportedly taken in Metz, several people wielding swords were captured on camera.

A total of 322 individuals were detained nationwide, with 126 arrests in Paris and 65 in Marseille, according to BFMTV.

Police have begun to intervene as demonstrators chant slogans demanding justice for Nael M, 17, of North African descent, who was shot at point-blank range by an officer on Tuesday in the Paris suburb of Nanterre Nearly 2,000 individuals have been arrested, while more than 200 police officers have been injured.

The officer who shot Nahel faces a formal voluntary homicide investigation and has been placed in preliminary detention. - BERNAMA-ANADOLU