French police arrest 72 more people amid nationwide protests

The French police arrested 72 more people overnight in nationwide protests over the killing of a 17-year-old teenager by police last week, local media reported on Tuesday, News.Az reports.

Protests have continued to shake France since June 27, when a police officer shot dead Nahel M. of Algerian descent during a traffic check in the Paris suburb of Nanterre after he allegedly ignored orders to stop.

The officer faces a formal investigation for voluntary homicide and has been placed under preliminary detention.

Protests, which began in Nanterre, spread to other cities the next evening, including Lyon, Toulouse, Lille, and Marseille.

Tensions rose following clashes between police and protesters.

Police have arrested hundreds since the violent protests erupted, including 72 people on the sixth night of unrest, the daily Le Figaro reported.

More than 202 fires were started on the public ways and 159 vehicles were set on fire, the report added.

Mayors in France on Monday gathered in front of all the town halls across the country to show support for the municipality of L'Hay-les-Roses, where Mayor Vincent Jeanbrun's residence was targeted with a burning vehicle on Saturday to Sunday night.

President Emmanuel Macron will host on Tuesday the mayors of towns where acts of violence occurred.

The chairman of the business and employers' network Movement of French Enterprises (MEDEF), Geoffroy Roux de Bezieux, said that more than 200 shops were entirely looted, and 300 bank branches destroyed since the protests started, the daily Le Parisien reported.

"It is too soon to give exact numbers but it is already more than a billion euros ($1.1 billion), without even counting the damages in the touristic aspect," he said in an interview on Monday. "The videos circulated on social media deteriorate France's image."

Education Minister Pap Ndiaye told broadcaster RTL on Tuesday that 243 school buildings have been damaged during the protests, including a dozen destroyed or partially destroyed.

He also mentioned a dozen million euros in damages, stressing that the state will give the needed support to local authorities.


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