Youth Riots Engulf French City Wounding 16 Police Officers
EUROPE 1, BFM TV, LE COURRIER PICARD (France)
AMIENS - Around 100 French youths clashed with police overnight in the city of Amiens, north of Paris.
A total of 16 police officers were injured by buckshot and mortar fire during the clashes that lasted for several hours -- but no arrests were made.
The violence was sparked by a police check on a dozen young people gathered to pay tribute to one of their friends, who had died in a scooter accident. "We were there, quiet, minding our own business. And then the riot police came to check IDs and it went really really badly with the young ones," Mohammed, a community worker, told Europe 1. "There were insults and then it was war," he added.
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According to the mayor of Amiens Gilles Demailly, interviewed by BFM TV, property damage amounts to more than one million euros.
"There was heavy damage: 60 garbage bins and 10 to 20 vehicles were burned ... but also a leisure center, a kindergarten and a gym," Thomas Lavielle, a police official, told Europe 1.
In a street, all the lampposts were knocked over, reports Amiens’ daily Le Courrier Picard.
France’s Interior Minister Manuel Valls is expected in Amiens later in the afternoon -- the Amiens suburb which erupted in violence was recently named by the Socialist government as one of 15 "priority security zones" needing extra policing.