Protesters attacked police officers at a Police station in the Pyrenees city of Pau in France with local bombs well known as Molotov cocktails as unrest continued in the French country after the killing of a teenage delivery driver by policeman on Tuesday at a Paris suburb of Nanterre.
The Protesters, according to France 24 news media, attacked buildings throughout France on Thursday night, with a police station in the Pyrenees city of Pau hit with a Molotov cocktail, according to the regional authorities. Adding, the Protesters also attacked an elementary school and a district office set on fire in Lille.
The French government on Friday closed public transit nationwide from 9pm to try and prevent a fourth night of rioting after the police shooting of the 17-year-old Muslim boy of Algerian descent.
The killing of Nahel M, a French teenager of Algerian and Moroccan descent by a police officer has set off days of protests in France with the crowd of protesters chanting “We don’t forget, we don’t forgive,”.
Over 40,000 police personnel have been deployed across the country to try prevent further protest and violent destruction of public properties and buildings.
French President, Emmanuel Macron leaves EU summit early on Friday to preside over emergency crisis meeting. The President said social media must help quell unrest.
According to President Emmanuel Macron, nearly 500 buildings were destroyed, “2,000 vehicles were burned and 3,880 fires were started”. The President stated this at the start of a crisis meeting on Friday.
Macron condemned the violence and said more police would be deployed.
Macron urged parents to keep teenagers at home, saying, at least a third of those arrested are ‘young people’ while calling for social media restrictions to quell rioting.
French President Emmanuel Macron had called a new government emergency meeting on Friday after a third night of violent clashes between protesters and police in cities including Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse and Lille.
The 40,000 police officers were deployed in France on Thursday night – nearly four times the number mobilised on Wednesday, with more expected to be deployed as more violent protest anticipated.
Over 900 persons have been arrested, according to French authorities.
Police had initially reported that the teenager was shot after driving his car at police, but this, according to France 24, was contradicted by a video that rapidly went viral across social media and was later authenticated by AFP.
The video shows the two policemen standing by the stationary car, with one pointing a weapon at the driver. A voice is heard saying, “You are going to get a bullet in the head.” The police officer then appears to fire as the car abruptly drives off before gradually coming to a stop.
The incident has sparked four nights of violent unrest in the capital and cities across France that have seen protesters clash with police.
In her first media interview since the killing of the teenager, Nahel’s mother, Mounia, told the France 5 channel that: “I don’t blame the police, I blame one person: the one who took the life of my son.”
She said the 38-year-old officer responsible, who was detained and charged with voluntary manslaughter on Thursday, “saw an Arab face, a little kid, and wanted to take his life”.
The memorial march for Nahel, led by Mounia, ended with riot police firing tear gas; as several cars were set ablaze in the western Paris suburb of Nanterre, where the teenager lived and was killed.
The French Interior Ministry had said that a total of Two hundred and forty-nine police officers and gendarmes were injured on Thursday night amid protests that erupted for the third consecutive night in France.
In the city centre of Marseille, it was gathered that a library was vandalised, according to local officials, and scuffles broke out nearby when police used tear gas to disperse a group of 100 to 150 people who allegedly tried to set up barricades.
It was also gathered that a multiple public buildings were targeted in Seine-Saint-Denis, in the Paris metro area, according to France 24.
France 24 while quoting a police source reported that in the suburb of Drancy, rioters used a truck to force open the entrance to a shopping centre, which was then partly looted and burned.
Firefighters in the northern municipality of Roubaix, meanwhile, dashed from blaze to blaze throughout the night, with a hotel near the train station also catching fire, sending its dozen or so residents fleeing into the streets.
In Nanterre, the epicentre of the unrest, tensions rose around midnight, with fireworks and explosives set off in the Pablo Picasso district, where Nahel M., the teenager who was fatally shot by a police officer on Tuesday, had lived.