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France riots – live: Children as young as 12 detained for attacking police amid Paris protests

Average age of 3,354 people arrested over past week is 17, says interior minister

Police clash with rioters as unrest continues for fifth night

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Children as young as 12 or 13 have been detained for attacking law enforcement and setting fires during six nights of violence after the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Nahel Merzouk in suburban Paris.

The average age of the 3,354 people arrested over the past week was 17, the interior minister Gerald Darmanin said.

In all, 99 town halls have been attacked during the unrest, including an attempt to ram a burning vehicle into the home of l’Hay-les-Les Roses mayor Vincent Jeanbrun. His wife and one of his young children were injured during the attack, which began at the weekend while they slept.

“We saw the real face of the rioters, that of assassins,” Mr Jeanbrun said in an emotional speech. France and “democracy itself” were being attacked in the days of rioting, he said.

Meanwhile, an “insulting” fundraiser set up for the family of the police officer who shot Nahel has amassed more than €1 million (£840,000).

Organised by Jean Messiha, a former adviser to the French far-right politician Marine Le Pen, the appeal has raised far more than the donation page set up for the family of the teenage victim.


Live blog paused

We are pausing our coverage of the France riots.

You can read our latest story below:

Aunt of French teenager shot dead by police in Paris pleads for violence to end

Exclusive: The family hope that Nahel’s death will bring ‘real change’, his aunt tells Bel Trew in Paris

Martha Mchardy4 July 2023 13:48

ICYMI: Over €1 million donated to French police officer who killed teenager in ‘scandalous’ fundraiser

More than €1 million (£860,000) has been raised for the family of a French police officer who shot dead a teenager at a traffic stop, an act that sparked riots across the country. That is far more than a similar campaign for the family of the boy killed.

The online fundraiser started by Jean Messiha, an independent right-wing populist and former adviser to Marine Le Pen, has attracted donations from more than 52,000 people, while a fund set up by the policeman’s colleagues has raised around €60,000.

Martha McHardy reports:

€1 million donated to French policeman who killed teen in ‘scandalous’ fundraiser

Total far in excess of fundraiser for victim’s family – where more than €200,000 has been donated

Matt Mathers4 July 2023 12:00

Watch: Hundreds march with French mayor after his house was attacked during riots

Hundreds march with French mayor after his house was attacked during riots
Matt Mathers4 July 2023 11:14

Watch: Macron meets mayors affected riots

The French president will talk to mayors of 220 cities that have been affected by violence at the Elysee palace after the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Nahel Merzouk in suburban Paris, Holly Patrick reports.

Vincent Jeanbrun, mayor of L’Hay les Roses south of Paris, took part in a march on Monday after his home was hit by a burning car over the weekend.

His wife and one of his young children were injured during the attack.

The meeting comes after children as young as 12 or 13 were detained for attacking law enforcement and setting fires during six nights of violence following the shooting.

Watch live: Emmanuel Macron meets mayors affected by France riots

Watch live as Emmanuel Macron meets mayors affected by riots on Tuesday, 4 July.

Matt Mathers4 July 2023 10:36

Recap: Who is Nahel Merzouk? The teen shot dead by police in France

France has seen another night of violence and unrest after police shot a 17-year-old boy during a traffic check in Paris.

Thousands have been arrested since clashes first erupted on Tuesday night in and around the Paris suburb of Nanterre where Nahel Merzouk was killed.

More about who Nahel was here:

Who is Nahel Merzouk? The teen shot dead by police in France

‘We left the house at the same time. He went to get a McDonald’s’

Matt Mathers4 July 2023 08:58

In pictures: Rally for peace

(AFP via Getty Images)

France’s interior minister Gerald Darmanin and local officials take part in a nationwide action in Reims, northern France, on 3 July 2023.

(AFP via Getty Images)

Participants attend a nationwide action in front of town halls, after rioters rammed a vehicle into the Mayor’s house injuring his wife and one of his children overnight, in L’Hay-les-Roses, south of Paris.

(AFP via Getty Images)

Local residents and representatives gather in front of the city hall during a nationwide action in Persan, on the outskirts of Paris.

(Yoan Valat/EPA-EFE)

L’Hay-les-Roses mayor Vincent Jeanbrun, centre, during a citizen rally following the attack on his house over the weekend

Matt Mathers4 July 2023 08:36

Unrest in Paris ‘very depressing’ - Scholz

German chancellor Olaf Sholz described the unrest in France as “very depressing” but backed French president Emmanuel Macron to restore order.

"I hope very much, and I am convinced, that the French president will find ways for this situation to improve quickly," he told ARD television.

"I don’t expect France to become unstable, even if the pictures are of course very depressing.”

France Macron
France Macron (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Matt Mathers4 July 2023 07:58

Paris's 'paradoxical energy’ : Baz Luhrmann speaks on couture and conflict

In an interview at Paris’s Rodin Museum before the Dior couture show, director Baz Luhrmann touched on the complex issue of attending a glamorous fashion event amidst the backdrop of recent civil unrest in France.

The protests, triggered by the police shooting of Nahel Merzouk, a 17-year-old boy of north African descent, stand in stark contrast to the haute couture spectacle, a contrast that Luhrmann described as a “paradoxical energy in Paris.”

Reflecting on the tension, Luhrmann acknowledged the deep-seated sorrow and public outcry pervading Paris. He recognised the legitimacy of the protests, saying, “There are things going on that really have a legitimate cause.”

Amidst such tragedies, he said, the vital role of art and beauty underscored their significance as essential sources of hope.

French house Celine, owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, decided to cancel its Paris Fashion Week show on Sunday over the nationwide riots. The Celine menswear show, like last season, was scheduled outside the official men’s calendar.

The house’s designer Hedi Slimane called it “inconsiderate” to hold a runway show when the French capital was “bereaved and bruised.” Other LVMH houses such as Dior, which went ahead to stage runways like most other brands, held a different view.

Namita Singh4 July 2023 07:35

Travel advice to France remains unchanged

Britons travelling to France are being warned of possible travel disruption amid riots over the police killing of teenager Nahel Merzouk.

The advice was issued on 30 June and remains in place despite the unrest appearing to calm slightly overnight on Monday.

The UK Foreign Office says: “Since 27 June, riots have taken place across France. Many have turned violent. Shops, public buildings and parked cars have been targeted.

“There may be disruptions to road travel and local transport provision may be reduced. Some local authorities may impose curfews. Locations and timing of riots are unpredictable. You should monitor the media, avoid areas where riots are taking place, check the latest advice with operators when travelling and follow the advice of the authorities.

“It is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.”

Matt Mathers4 July 2023 07:31

ICYMI: Is it safe to travel to Paris right now?

Paris has seen nights of unrest following the killing of a 17-year-old by police officers on 27 June.

The death of the teenager, Nahel Merzouk, was captured on video and has shocked France, stirring long-simmering tensions between young people and the police in disadvantaged neighbourhoods around the country.

Transport and businesses have been disrupted as a result of the clashes; on Friday (30 June), interior minister Gérald Darmanin asked regional prefects for all bus and tram services to stop from 9pm local time.

Before travelling, check if your plans will be affected and how you’ll get around.

Is it safe to travel to Paris right now?

Which parts of Paris are affected, and how does travel insurance cover you?

Namita Singh4 July 2023 07:15

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