Riots reported in France during New Year celebrations
A new wave of mass rioting has engulfed French cities during New Year’s Eve celebrations as authorities report damage to cars and property in the capital Paris and other major cities.
The French Interior Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that the number of cars burnt in a suburb of Paris and other areas was a bit higher than last year, when some 932 cars were set ablaze by rioters.
The ministry called the riots “normal disorders” that come during the New Year’s Eve celebrations. However, reports indicated that a total of 510 people had been arrested. Eight policemen and three members of security forces were also injured in the clashes that erupted with rioters, reports said.
The riots came hours after an attack on police forces in the suburb of Paris. President Emmanuel Macron reacted to the unrest and said those responsible would be brought to justice.
“Those guilty of the cowardly and criminal lynching of police doing their duty on the night of December 31st will be found and punished,” said Macron about the attacks that came early on Monday. Several police forces were injured in the attacks, which took place in the suburb of Champigny-sur-Marne, located to the southeast of the capital.
France is still under a state of emergency some two years after terrorist attacks that rocked Paris. More than 140,000 police and security forces had been deployed to ensure security during Christmas celebrations.
Fear of more acts of terror still haunt many in France as the country watches the return of many nationals from the Middle East, where they had been fighting along the ranks of terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria.