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Violent protests continue after police killing of French-Algerian teen

Cars set ablaze and at least 150 arrested, as Emmanuel Macron holds emergency meeting following unrest over fatal police shooting
A man walks past a bonfire in a residential area during protests in Toulouse, southwestern France on 28 June 2023 (AFP)
A man walks past a bonfire in a residential area during protests in Toulouse, southwestern France on 28 June 2023 (AFP)

Violent protests broke out across France in the early hours of Thursday, in a second night of unrest over the police killing of a French-Algerian teenager. 

Cars were set ablaze and fireworks were shot towards police officers in the Paris suburb of Nanterre, where Nael M, 17, was shot dead on Tuesday morning. 

There were confrontations between police and protesters in other French cities, including Toulouse, Lille, Dijon and Amiens. 

Overnight police arrested 150 people, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said. 

"A night of unbearable violence against symbols of the Republic: town halls, schools and police stations set on fire or attacked," he tweeted

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"Support for the police, gendarmes and firefighters who face up with courage. Shame on those who did not call for calm." 

President Emmanuel Macron held an early morning crisis meeting with his ministers, where he called the violent unrest "unjustifiable". 

"The last few hours have been marked by scenes of violence against police stations, but also schools and town halls... against institutions and the Republic," Macron told ministers on Thursday. "These [attacks] are absolutely unjustifiable".

A day earlier, he described the fatal shooting as "inexcusable".

'Revolt for my son'

Nael M was driving in Nanterre on Tuesday morning when police pulled him over for road misconduct. 

Footage online shows an officer shooting the teenager at point-blank range while he was in the car, causing the vehicle to crash into a post. He died shortly afterwards from bullet wounds to the chest. 

Paris: Outrage and protests after French-Algerian teen shot dead by police
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Police initially said that one officer shot at the teenager because he was driving his car at him, but the footage appears to show the two police officers standing by the side of a stationary car.

One police officer points a weapon at the driver, while a voice can be heard saying "You are going to get a bullet in the head".

The 38-year-old police officer accused of shooting Nael M has been detained on homicide charges.

The mother of the teenager posted a video on TikTok calling for a tribute march for her son on Thursday. “This is a revolt for my son,” she said. 

Several French users took to social media to denounce the police shooting, including French footballer Kylian Mbappe and actor Omar Sy. 

The killing was the third fatal shooting during a traffic stop in 2023. There were 13 such killings last year. 

The majority of victims of such killings since 2017 are of Arab or Black origin, according to tally compiled by Reuters. 

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