Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Virunga Park chief shot

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algerian election: Bouteflika votes in wheelchair

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algeria's media: a mixture of censorship and free speech

Read more

DEBATE

Algeria: What's the Choice? Incumbent Bouteflika Votes in Wheelchair

Read more

WEB NEWS

Nigerian web users call for end to violence

Read more

FOCUS

Bitcoin in the US: A monetary revolution?

Read more

ENCORE!

Fast cars and slow trains

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

FACE-OFF

François Hollande: France's most unpopular president

Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Nobel-winning Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

    Read more

  • Low turnout in Algerian election tipped to return Bouteflika

    Read more

  • Chelsea Clinton says she is pregnant

    Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • Frantic search for survivors of sunken South Korea ferry

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Ukraine talks open in Geneva as Putin talks tough on TV

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine begin in Geneva

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

France

Police attacked as unrest flares in Paris suburbs

© AFP

Text by Sam Ball

Latest update : 2013-07-21

Four people have been arrested after vehicles were torched and weapons fired at police during a second night of violence in the Paris suburbs on Saturday. The unrest follows an incident involving France’s controversial ban on Islamic face veils.

Cars were torched and weapons fired at police in a second night of violence in suburbs west of Paris on Saturday.

Despite a heavily reinforced police presence in the area, around 50 people were involved in fresh clashes with security forces, with some firing “mortars and fireworks”, police union chief David Callu told French TV station BFMTV.

He added that the violence had spread from the suburb of Trappes – the scene of Friday night’s clashes – to the neighbouring towns of Élancourt and Guyancourt.

Some 20 cars were torched in the Élancourt area during the course of the night, according to a statement from France’s Interior Minister Manuel Valls, who also said that four arrests had been made.

Meanwhile the AFP news agency reported that a motorist in Trappes had attempted to ram police with a car. No injuries occurred from the incident, but the driver of the vehicle is yet to be found.

A police vehicle parked near the town’s police station was also left partially burned by a Molotov cocktail.

By Sunday morning, calm seemed to have returned to the area, but Interior Minister Valls said extra security measures would remain in place in a bid to prevent further violence breaking out.

The four people arrested will appear in court on Monday.

Arrest over Islamic face veil sparks unrest

On Friday night, around 250 people had clashed with police in Trappes, with video showing assailants hurling projectiles at security forces and a number of bins set ablaze.

Four police officers were injured and six people were detained during the violence, while a 14-year-old boy suffered a serious eye injury from a projectile, police said.

The clashes were apparently sparked by the arrest on Thursday of a man accused of assaulting a police officer after his wife was stopped for wearing a full-face veil – illegal under French law.

Prosecutor Vincent Lesclous told reporters on Saturday that the man had attempted to strangle the police officer during the altercation.

But this version of events has been disputed, with The Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) publishing a statement on its website on Saturday, claiming to be from the wife of the arrested man, in which she accused the police of being abusive and using unnecessary force.

The CCIF said the actions of the police were a sign of the “racism and Islamophobia” that are now “clearly institutionalised and legitimised” in France.

France’s so-called 'burqa ban' came into effect in April 2011 and made it illegal to wear any item of clothing that conceals the face while in public, including the burqa and niqab garments sometimes worn by Muslim women.

Those caught violating the law can face an on-the-spot fine of up to 150 euros and/or the possibility of being sent on a citizenship course.

The ban sparked a wave of protests as it made its way into law and remains a highly divisive issue in France, with some claiming the legislation unfairly stigmatises Muslim women and infringes upon their civil liberties.

Date created : 2013-07-21

  • FRANCE

    Police attacked outside Paris after Islamic veil arrest

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Poll shows French back veil ban in private sector

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French firing over veil was ‘religious discrimination’

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)