French police arrest 3 after teens beat man to death

Pau (France) (AFP) –


French police have arrested three people after a man was beaten to death in broad daylight by a gang of teenagers in Pau, a town in southern France.

A 32-year-old was murdered early on Friday evening in a notorious area of the town by a group of youths, whom witnesses described as being in their early teens and aged 16-17 at most.

The victim, who had a history of violent crime and drug dealing, was repeatedly kicked and punched by a group of up to 12 teenagers, and was also beaten with a plastic chair leg and a piece of wood in front of horrified witnesses, local media reported.

Pau prosecutor Cecile Gensac confirmed Monday that three people had been arrested over the murder -- a French national born in Burkina Faso in west Africa who had moved from Paris to Pau in recent years.

"The man died Friday in the street in an area of Pau after a group attacked him," she told AFP.

The housing estate in Saragosse, where the crime took place, is known for its high crime rate and is typical of many deprived, high-immigration urban neighbourhoods in France.

But murders committed by minors are rare and man's death on a grassy public area was widely reported on Monday, with Le Parisien newspaper describing it as a "terrifying lynching."

"They're very young: 12, 13, 14 years old. It's a gang around here that smokes weed, that causes problems," one local told La Republique des Pyrenees newspaper.

Elsewhere in France, 10 people have been arrested in the gang-plagued Seine-Saint-Denis area northeast of Paris after a 41-year-old man was stabbed to death on Sunday night in a shop.