Protests are Sweeping France

Protests are Sweeping France
Fecha de publicación: 
2 July 2023
Imagen principal: 

A burning car has been used to attack the home of a mayor during a fifth night of rioting by protesters sparked by the police killing of a teenager in France.

Vincent Jeanbrun, who runs the Paris suburb of L'Hay-les-Roses, claimed the incident was an "assassination attempt" and authorities said they were treating it as attempted murder.

Mr Jeanbrun, who was not at home at the time, said his property was "ram-raided" and set alight while his wife and two children, aged five and seven, were asleep. She and one of the youngsters were injured as they fled the building through the back garden.

The mayor, who had been at the town hall, claimed the perpetrators started a fire "to torch my house".

Prosecutors said the vehicle was stopped apparently by a low wall before reaching the veranda of the house.

The town hall was targeted over several nights since the shooting of a 17-year-old boy and has been protected with barbed wire and barricades. But such a personal attack on a mayor's home is unusual.

In a statement, Mr Jeanbrun wrote: "A milestone was reached in horror and ignominy. My home was attacked and my family was the victim of an assassination attempt. My determination to protect and serve the Republic is greater than ever. I will not back down."

French prime minister Elisabeth Borne has "condemned" the attack and gave her full support to the mayor and his family.

A spokesperson for the PM said "the culprits will be prosecuted with the greatest firmness" and the government is "at the side of all the mayors", adding: "These attacks and violence against elected officials are unacceptable."

Meanwhile, officers in Marseille fired tear gas at protesters as the escalating crisis in France continued.

Police in Paris cleared protesters from the Place de la Concorde and increased security at the city's landmark Champs Elysees avenue after a call on social media to gather there.

Police officers patrol in front of the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysees in Paris, Saturday, July 1, 2023. President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday scrapped an official trip to Germany after a fourth straight night of rioting and looting across France in defiance of a massive police deployment. Hundreds turned out for the burial of the 17-year-old whose killing by police triggered the unrest.

Officers later said they arrested 37 people in the French capital after officers confiscated weapons in the area.

Some 2,400 people have been arrested after five nights of violent protests throughout the country following the death of 17-year-old Nahel Merzouk, who was shot by police during a traffic stop in the Paris suburb of Nanterre on Tuesday.

People have taken to the streets over consecutive nights to protest, setting cars alight, throwing stones and fireworks, and ransacking shops.

A funeral for the teenager was held in Nanterre on Saturday afternoon, with family and friends viewing an open coffin before it was taken to a mosque for a ceremony and later burial.

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