Conflicts & War

Firefighter dies in latest night of riots in France amid 157 arrests

(Update 1: Adds detail about firefighter’s death)

Paris, Jul 3 (EFE).- A firefighter died overnight while putting out a blaze in a Paris suburb as riots that have swept across France entered their sixth consecutive night, authorities reported on Monday.

The incident occurred on the sixth night of unrest following the killing of 17-year-old Nahel M, who was fatally shot on June 27, sparking riots across the country that have led to thousands of arrests.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin explained on his Twitter account that the man, 24, was a Corporal-Chief of the Paris Fire Brigade and died while extinguishing a fire in an underground parking lot in the commune of Saint-Denis, north of Paris.

“All my sincere and saddened condolences to his family, loved ones, comrades and to the BSPP (Paris Fire Brigade),” Darmanin added.

The firefighter died from a heart attack due to smoke intoxication, according to the Paris fire brigade.

The Bobigny Prosecutor’s Office said that initial investigations suggest there was no proof that the firefighter’s death was linked to the riots, while Paris police said the cause of the blaze was unknown.

A spokesperson for the BSPP, told Le Parisien newspaper that “every week, all year round, we respond to dozens of fires of this type, so don’t confuse concomitance with causality.”

Several sources, including some residents of the affected apartment block, told local media that the incident could be an attempt at insurance fraud.

The killing of Nahel M has led to some of the worst riots in France in nearly 20 years.

The teenager’s grandmother appealed to rioters to end the violence in an interview with BFMTV on Sunday.

“They should not damage the schools, not break the buses, it is the moms who take the buses,” she said.

Sunday was much quieter than previous nights, with 157 arrests and three police officers wounded in the clashes, the interior ministry reported.

Over 3,200 people have been arrested since Nahel’s death.

On Sunday protesters ram-raided and torched the family home of the L’Haÿ-les-Roses mayor, a town on the southern outskirts of Paris.

According to mayor Vincent Jeanbrun, who was not home at the time of the attack, protesters used a burning car to attack his home at around 1.30 am as his wife and two children, aged 5 and 7, were sleeping.

His wife and one of the children were injured in the incident which is being treated by investigators as attempted murder.EFE


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