Paris, Jun 30: More than 400 people have been arrested in France amid violent protests that continued across the country over the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old driver by the police at a traffic stop, authorities said on Friday.
At least 421 people were arrested in the protests from Thursday night into Friday morning, CNN quoted Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin as saying to the local BFMTV.
More than half of those arrests took place in the Paris region, in the departments of Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne, BFMTV reported, citing Paris police.
The protests continued for a third consecutive day on Thursday prompting the country’s elite police force, the RAID, to be deployed in the cities of Bordeaux, Lyon, Roubaix, Marseille and Lille, to help contain the violence, reports CNN.
In Nanterre, a suburb in Paris where Nahel M was shot at point-blank range by a police officer on Tuesday as he refused a traffic stop and drove away, clashed flared up between protesters and police on Thursday.
Amid burning debris, “vengeance pour Nael” (revenge for Nahel) appeared to be spray painted on a wall in Nanterre, according to footage from the suburb.
A bank was also set on fire in the suburb and15 people have been taken in for questioning by police after a march held in memory of the teenager turned violent.
Meanwhile in Marseille, protesters threw fireworks at police officers, CNN quoted BFMTV as saying in a report.
Footage from the northern city of Lille showed fires burning on streets and running riot police officers.
Six people were taken in for questioning after participating in a protest banned by authorities in Lille, the regional authority said.
Buses and tramways in Lille shut down after 8 p.m. on Thursday night, while several Parisian suburbs have imposed curfews.
Bus and tram services were also suspended in the Ile-de-France region, which includes Paris, from Thursday night
Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry said it planned on deploying 40,000 police officers across the country, including 5,000 in Paris.
When the unrest first erupted on Tuesday night, 40 cars were burned and 24 police officers injured, French authorities claimed.
The police officer who shot the teenager has been put under formal investigation for voluntary homicide and placed in preliminary detention, BFMTV reported on Thursday.
Nahel is the second person this year in France to have been killed in a police shooting during a traffic stop. Last year, a record 13 people died in this way.