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France Deploys 45,000 Police and Armoured Vehicles to Quell Riots

1. Fourth Night of Riots in France

More than 1,300 people were arrested in France during a fourth night of rioting following the shooting of Nahel M by the police. Nahel’s funeral took place in the Paris suburb where he died, and the unrest intensified.

2. Massive Police Deployment

To address the crisis, the government deployed 45,000 police officers and several armoured vehicles, marking the most significant challenge to President Emmanuel Macron’s leadership since the “Yellow Vest” protests in 2018.

3. Increasing Arrests

The number of arrests rose to 1,311, compared to 875 the previous night. Although the violence was described as “lower in intensity,” the situation remained volatile.

4. Funeral and Community Support

Nanterre’s grand mosque received several hundred people who came to attend Nahel’s funeral. Volunteers in yellow vests guarded the mosque, while bystanders expressed their support for the family.

5. Complaints of Police Violence and Racism

The shooting of Nahel, captured on video, has reignited long-standing grievances of police violence and racism within poor and racially mixed urban communities. Some individuals believe that the police pose a greater danger to those with the “wrong skin colour.”

6. Damage and Injuries

Looters have targeted numerous shops, and over 2,000 vehicles have been set on fire since the riots began. More than 200 police officers have been injured, and the average age of those arrested is 17.

7. Requests for Reinforcements

Local authorities in Marseille and Lyon have called for additional troops to handle the “pillaging and violence” in their cities. The mayors expressed concerns about the escalating situation and the safety of residents.

8. Impact on Events and Sports

Concerts at the Stade de France and Tour de France events have been cancelled or adapted due to the unrest. The riots have disrupted daily life and raised security concerns.

9. Government Response and State of Emergency

President Macron left a European Union summit to attend cabinet crisis meetings and urged social media platforms to remove sensitive footage and disclose users promoting violence. The possibility of declaring a state of emergency is being considered.

10. International Reactions

Western countries have issued travel advisories, cautioning their citizens to be vigilant. Tourists in France expressed a range of opinions, with some acknowledging the importance of addressing racism and police-minority relations.

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