Riot police forces clash with demonstrators near the Arc de triomphe during another night of clashes with protestors in Paris, France, 01 July 2023. EFE-EPA/MOHAMMED BADRA

French mayor’s home ram-raided, set alight by rioters in fifth night of unrest

Paris, July 2 (EFE).- A mayor’s home was ram-raided and torched by rioters in a fifth consecutive night of riots in France over the killing of a teenager by a police officer, authorities reported on Sunday.

Vincent Jeanbrun, the mayor of L’Haÿ-les-Roses, a town on the southern outskirts of Paris, said protesters used a burning car to attack his home at around 1.30 am as his wife and two children were sleeping. 

“Last night, a milestone was reached in horror and ignominy. My home was attacked and my family was the victim of an assassination attempt,” the mayor said on Twitter. 

“My determination to protect and serve the Republic is greater than ever. I will not back down,” he added. 

Jeanbrun said that he was working at the city hall for the third night in a row when the incident took place. 

When the mayor’s family tried to escape, his wife and one of the children were injured, Jeanbrun added.

Several politicians have since sent messages of support for Jeanbrun, including economy minister Bruno Le Maire who tweeted: “Bravo for your courage and your determination to serve our fellow citizens! Let no violence, verbal or physical, pass.”

Police are treating the investigation as an assassination attempt, as tensions run high across the country with widespread looting, burning of buildings and vehicles and clashes between police and protestors. 

At least 719 people were arrested overnight on Saturday and 45 police officers were injured, authorities reported.

Despite the high number of arrests, interior minister Gérald Darmanin described the latest night of rioting as a “calmer night thanks to the resolute action of the police.” 

A total of 871 street fires were recorded while 74 buildings were damaged, almost half the number of the previous day.

Some 45,000 police officers continued to be deployed to maintain order, with a heavy deployment in Marseille and Lyon, who had requested reinforcements following a surge in riots the previous night.

These cities were calmer too, despite some incidents of violence.

In Paris, a large police contingent had to intervene to quell incidents on the Champs-Elysées avenue shortly before midnight.

The unrest in the country was sparked by the police shooting of 17-year-old Nahel M during a traffic stop in Nanterre, a Paris suburb, on Tuesday.

Footage of the incident, recorded by witnesses, sparked a wave of protests in the country, which turned into riots, especially in the working-class neighborhoods of the big cities and in the Paris metropolitan area.

A private funeral was held for the young man in Nanterre on Saturday. EFE