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Coronavirus lockdown sparks riots in Paris

Published on April 20, 2020 8:35 AM
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Rioting broke out in housing estates around Paris as tensions escalated over the coronavirus lockdown.Footage posted on social media showed protesters hurling projectiles including fireworks, and police responding with tear gas and baton charges. Other videos showed several police cars and bins being set alight.

The violence erupted in Villeneuve-la-Garenne, in the north of the city, and continued into the early hours of Monday.

Image: Anti-riot police in a street in Villeneuve-la-Garenne
It followed prosecutors opening an enquiry after a 30-year-old motorcyclist, reportedly from an Arab Muslim background, was critically injured after a collision with an unmarked police car in the suburb.

Residents claimed it was an example of police heavy-handedness against ethnic minority communities during the lockdown.

French journalist Taha Bouhafs posted several clips of the riots on Twitter.

"Lots of fireworks fire this evening at VilleneuveLaGarenne, tensions underway in several neighborhoods, notably in the northern suburbs," he wrote.

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