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LATEST: France hit by more violence with nearly 700 arrests made

LATEST: France hit by more violence with nearly 700 arrests made
A police officer from the anti-crime brigade (BAC) arrests a protester (C) during clashes that broke out after a commemoration march for a teenage driver shot dead by a policeman, in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre on June 29, 2023. (Photo by Zakaria ABDELKAFI / AFP)

France was hit by a third consecutive night of violence on Thursday following the police shooting of a teenager with police making 677 arrests across the country. The president announced he would another crisis meeting on Friday.

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President Emmanuel Macron will hold a new crisis meeting on Friday, his office said after further clashes between police and rioters in urban areas across France on Thursday. Marseille just one of many cities that saw violence flare.

Macron was to cut short a trip to Brussels -- where he is attending a European Union summit -- to chair the 1:00 pm (1100 GMT) meeting, the second in as many days over the violence, the Elysee said.

The 40,000 police deployed across the country including 5,000 in the Paris area were unable to prevent further trouble hitting urban areas across the country. Hundreds of arrests were made across the country.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said: "Last night, our police, gendarmes and firefighters again courageously
confronted rare violence. In line with my firm instructions, they made 667 arrests."

A protest in Marseille degenerated into violence as bins were set alight and shops were targeted in the Vieux Port area of the city following a march. Police responded with tear gas as clashes flared. One officer was reportedly injured after being hit by a projectile.

There was also trouble in central Paris when youths were seen looting a store in the Châtelet-Les Halles shopping district. Police made 14 arrests after the incident as the situation remained tense for some time.

Clashes between rioters and police also continued for a third night in the western Paris suburb of Nanterre, which was the scene of the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Nahel by a police office earlier in the week.

Youths set fire to cars and fired fireworks at riot police who responded with rounds of tear gas in a repeat of the violent clashes that had taken place on Tuesday and Wednesday night.

Elite members of the specialist BRI anti-gang unit were also brought into to help restore order in the western suburb.

Violent clashes between youths and police also took place in the northern French city of Lille, where police deployed elite members of the anti-riot RAID unit. Videos posted on social media showed heavily armed officers along with armoured vehicles in the city.

A police officer of unit RAID (Research, Assistance, Intervention, deterrence) holds a position in an anti-riot vehicle during protests in Lille, northern France, on June 29, 2023 (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP)

RAID units were also reportedly deployed in Bordeaux, Lyon and the northern town of Roubaix with the aim of preventing disorder. In the south eastern city of Grenoble youths aimed fireworks at busses leading to services being suspended.

French authorities were ready for more violent night protests over the fatal shooting of a teenager by a policeman according
to an internal security note on Thursday, a police source said.

The source referred to an internal document saying the "coming nights" were expected "to be the theatre of urban violence" with "actions targeted at the forces of order and the symbols of the state", the source said.

Earlier on Thursday several Paris suburbs imposed curfews on Thursday night in a bid to avoid more trouble following the police shooting of a 17-year-old boy earlier in the week.

After two nights of rioting and violent clashes between youths and police in urban areas across the country authorities in certain areas decided to impose curfews from 10pm until 6pm including Compiegne to the north of Paris and the wealthy suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine.

The suburb of Clamart, to the south of Paris, had already declared an overnight curfew, between 9:00 pm (1900 GMT) and 6:00 am from Thursday until next Monday.

The Paris region announced earlier Thursday that bus and tram services in and around the capital would be halted every evening from 9:00 pm starting Thursday "to ensure the protection of staff and passengers".

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Some 40,000 police were deployed across France on Thursday to deal with any further protests, said Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin. The minister said 180 people had been arrested overnight on Wednesday and 170 police officers and gendarmes had been injured.

Earlier on Thursday a march to honour the victim, Nahel, 17, in the western Paris suburb of Nanterre saw more than 6,000 take to the streets. But it descended into violence as police were targeted by projectiles and a bank was set on fire.

Firefighters extinguish a fire at an office of French bank Credit Mutuel, burning following riots that broke out after a commemoration march for a teenage driver shot dead by a policeman, in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre on June 29, 2023. (Photo by Zakaria ABDELKAFI / AFP)

Police officers clashes with protesters after a commemoration march for a teenage driver shot dead by a policeman, in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre, on June 29, 2023. (Photo by Zakaria ABDELKAFI / AFP)

A French policeman was charged and remanded in custody over the killing of the teenager, who was shot in the chest during a traffic stop early Tuesday.

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