Conflicts & War

Macron cancels trip to Germany as riots sweep France

(Update 2: Changes headline, reledes)

Paris, Jul 1 (EFE).- President Emmanuel Macron has canceled a visit to Germany as his government struggled to contain the unrest that has gripped France after a fourth night of rioting sparked by the police killing of a teenager, the government announced on Saturday.

Macron’s visit to Germany would have been the first state visit by a French president in 23 years and was scheduled to last from Sunday to Tuesday.

The Élysée said Macron decided to postpone the scheduled visit to a later date after a conversation with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Saturday.

The news came as a funeral was being held for 17-year-old Naher M, who was driving a rental car in the Paris suburb of Nanterre without a permit on June 27 when he was shot dead by a police officer during a traffic stop.

At least 1,311 people were arrested and 79 police officers were injured in the fourth consecutive night of riots across France.

“Thanks to the mobilization of the internal security forces throughout the national territory, the violence committed this night was of a lower intensity compared to the previous night,” France’s interior ministry said on Twitter.

In terms of material damage, some 1,350 vehicles were set on fire and some 234 buildings were damaged, according to the ministry.

The fourth night of riots was somewhat calmer in the Paris region, although in suburbs such as Seine-Saint-Denis and Nanterre, angry protesters continued to storm the streets, lighting vehicles, erecting barricades and burning buildings.

The government sent reinforcements to Marseille, Grenoble and Lyon which were some of the worst affected areas on Friday night amid widespread looting.

Some 45,000 police officers were deployed as well as light armored vehicles from the Gendarmerie in a bid to quell the violent protests which French President Emmanuel Macron called “unjustifiable” on Friday.

In a brief statement, Macron slammed the “unacceptable instrumentalization of the death of a teenager.”

“I condemn with the greatest firmness all those who are using this situation and this moment to try to create disorder and attack our institutions,” the president added.

Footage of Tuesday’s incident that has been circulating on social media shows Nahel’s car being stopped by a pair of officers, one of whom can be seen pointing his gun at the teenage driver through the window while the other officer speaks to him.

A shot can be heard as the car starts to accelerate before crashing to a halt.

The police officer who fired the shot has been arrested and charged with voluntary homicide.EFE


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