600 arrested in third night of riots in France

Riots in France

At least 667 people were arrested on the night from Thursday to Friday (06.30.2023) in France, the third consecutive riot after the death of a young man in Nanterre by a police shot while trying to flee a checkpoint.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin gave that figure in a message on his Twitter account and linked it to the “firm” instructions he had given.

Darmanin, who had deployed 40,000 agents to try to prevent the riots from recurring, stressed that police, gendarmes and firefighters had to “face unusual violence.”

According to his department, in the clashes with the young people who were the protagonists of the protests -a good part of the detainees are between 14 and 18 years old- 249 policemen and gendarmes were injured, although none seriously.

Nanterre, the epicenter

Once again, the epicenter of the protests has been the city of Nanterre, on the immediate periphery of Paris, where a bank agency was burned down and several public buildings such as schools and a tax center suffered serious damage.

Also burned were 13 buses from the Paris metropolitan network that were parked in a warehouse in the city of Aubervilliers, and were attacked by several individuals with Molotov cocktails.

In reaction to the risk situation in public transport, the vice president of the Ile-de-France region, Frédéric Péchenard, announced in statements to the France Info radio station that buses and trams will stop running today from 9:00 p.m. (7:00 p.m. GMT).

Looting and curfews

But the wave of violence was not limited to sensitive neighborhoods in the Paris region, but also reached the capital, where there was looting of shops in the Les Halles neighborhood, in the center, and many other cities.

In various towns in the Ile-de-France, the mayors have decreed curfews that will be in force until the end of the week.

The head of state, Emmanuel Macron, must chair a crisis cell that will be held at 1:00 p.m. local time (11:00 GMT) upon his return from Brussels, where he is participating in the European Council, reported the Elysee.