Fewer arrests in France as riots ease

AFP , Wednesday 5 Jul 2023

Clashes between French police and rioters de-escalated again overnight, the government said Wednesday, eight days after the killing of a teenager by police sparked the worst urban violence in years.

France riots
Policemen ride their motorbikes on a commercial street following a fourth consecutive night of rioting in France sparked by the death of teenage driver Nahel by a police bullet, in Strasbourg, eastern France, on July 1, 2023. AFP


The police remained highly mobilised with 45,000 officers patrolling the streets, the interior ministry said.

Police counted 16 arrests in the night to Wednesday nationwide, it said, of which seven were in or around Paris.

At the weekend peak of rioting, 1,300 arrests were made in a single night.

Eight buildings were damaged Tuesday to Wednesday, 202 bins or other street infrastructure set on fire, and 159 vehicles torched, the ministry said.

Four police stations came under attack, but nobody was injured.

French President Emmanuel Macron suggested on Tuesday that the peak of rioting had passed, although he remained "cautious".

The government has battled riots and looting since an officer killed 17-year-old Nahel M. during a traffic stop on June 27 in a Paris suburb, rekindling long-standing accusations of systemic racism among security forces.

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