Mayor's house set alight in latest French unrest

2023-07-03 10:08:11China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

An attempted murder investigation has been opened in France after the house of a mayor of a Paris suburb was ram-raided and set alight during continued disturbances across the country.

As of Sunday morning, around 2,800 people have been arrested in a continued wave of violence following the shooting dead of a 17-year-old youth by a police officer in Paris earlier in the week.

Vincent Jeanbrun, the conservative Les Republicains party mayor of the southern suburb of L'Hay-les-Roses, was out when the attack took place, but his wife and children were in the family home.

"At 01:30am, as I was in the town hall just like the two previous nights, people ram-raided my home before starting a fire to torch my house, where my wife and my two young children were sleeping," he said on Twitter.

" While attempting to shield them and fleeing the attackers, my wife and one of my children got hurt."

"It was an attempt at murder of incalculable cowardice," he added. "If my priority today is to take care of my family, my determination to protect and serve the Republic is greater than before."

No suspects have been arrested over the attacks, but spokesperson for Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said "the culprits will be prosecuted with the greatest firmness" and the government is "at the side of all the mayors", adding: "These attacks and violence against elected officials are unacceptable."

The wave of nationwide violence was sparked when a youth identified only as Nahel M. was shot dead after being stopped by traffic police, with the incident taking place in broad daylight and being caught on camera.

It was the third such death this year, after a record 13 similar fatalities last year, with the victims in most cases being black or of North Arab descent.

In addition to Paris, where the killing took place, there has also been violence in Marseille, Nice and Strasbourg, along with a health center being burnt down in Lille, and a car showroom destroyed in Brittany.

To underline the gravity of the situation, President Emmanuel Macron canceled a state visit to Germany, which would have been the first by a French president for 23 years, because of the ongoing disturbances.

He was due to meet Borne, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti on Sunday evening to discuss developments.


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