Second night of violence in French city over police shooting

07 Juillet, 2018, 22:54 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Cars were burned and a shopping centre partly set alight in the Breil neighbourhood of France's Nantes as police confronted young people some armed with molotov cocktails

Riots rocked a French city for the second straight night Wednesday after the fatal police shooting of a driver apparently trying to avoid an identity check.

Eleven people were arrested in Breil and one person was arrested in the Paris suburb of Garges-les-Gonesse where Aboubakar F. grew up.

Police sources noted that the 22-year-old, identified by Le Parisien as Aboubakar Fofana, was declared dead on arrival to the hospital as the bullet had punctured his carotid artery.

Angry youths have burnt cars and confronted police in poor neighbourhoods of the French city of Nantes.

Several public buildings, including a police station, were damaged and a dozen shops were torched, despite calls by the victim's family for calm.

On Thursday evening, around 1,000 people marched in Nantes calling for "justice for Abou" and demanding that the circumstances of his death be revealed.

He injured an officer when backing his auto away from the checkpoint, forcing another policeman to open fire and shoot him dead, local police were quoted by media as saying. "It lasted ages", he said.

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Rioting and vehicle burnings also occurred in the areas of Dervallieres and Malakoff. "There was only the one gunshot".

In January, the government vowed a crackdown on urban violence after shocking video footage emerged of a policewoman being beaten by a crowd of youths in the Paris suburbs on New Year's Eve.

Nationally, French police have complained of coming under increasing strain in recent years, with a parliamentary report released on Tuesday detailing high suicide rates within the force.

The riot-hit districts of Nantes - Bellevue, Dervallieres, Malakoff and Breil - all have a history of gang violence.

In 2005, riots erupted across the country following the deaths of two black teenagers who were electrocuted in a Paris suburb while hiding from the police.

Injuries suffered by a young black man during his arrest by police last February - which saw him suffer severe anal injuries caused by a truncheon - sparked fresh unrest past year.

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