- Protestors threw projectiles at police, who responded with tear gas
- Cars were overturned, protestors burned at least one vehicle
- Six Kurdish activists killed in Paris in last ten years, said a protestor
PARIS: Clashes broke out for the second day in Paris on Saturday between police and Kurdish protestors angry at the killing of three community members by a gunman.
As some demonstrators left the square, they threw projectiles at police, who responded with tear gas. Skirmishes continued for around two hours before the protestors dispersed.
A gunman carried out the killings at a Kurdish cultural centre and cafe on Friday in a busy part of Paris‘ 10th district, stunning a community preparing to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the unresolved murder of three activists.
The second day in Paris on Saturday was between police and Kurdish protestors angry at the killing of three community members by a gunman.
Cars were overturned, protestors burned at least one vehicle, shop windows were damaged, and small fires were set alight near Republic Square, a traditional venue for demonstrations where Kurds earlier held a peaceful protest.
Paris police chief Laurent Nunez said there had been a sudden violent turn in the protest, but it was unclear why.
Police arrested a 69-year-old man whom the authorities said had recently been freed from detention while awaiting trial for a sabre attack on a migrant camp in Paris a year ago.
Following questioning of the suspect, investigators had added a suspected racist motive to initial accusations of murder and violence with weapons, the prosecutor’s office said on Saturday.
However, the questioning was later halted on medical grounds, and the man was transferred to a psychiatric unit, the prosecutor’s office said in an update.
It added that the suspect would be presented to an investigating magistrate when his health permits.
After a gathering on Friday afternoon that had also led to clashes with police, the Kurdish democratic council in France (CDK-F) organised the demonstration at Republic Square on Saturday.
Hundreds of Kurdish protestors, joined by politicians including the mayor of Paris’ 10th district, waved flags and listened to tributes to the victims.
“We are not being protected at all. In 10 years, six Kurdish activists have been killed in the heart of Paris in broad daylight,” Berivan Firat, a spokesperson for the CDK-F, told BFM TV at the demonstration.
She said the event had soured after some protestors were provoked by people making pro-Turkish gestures in a passing vehicle.
Friday’s murders came ahead of the anniversary of the killings of three Kurdish women in Paris in January 2013.
An investigation was dropped after the main suspect died shortly before coming to trial, before being re-opened in 2019.
Kurdish representatives, who met on Saturday with Nunez and French Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti, reiterated their call for Friday’s shooting to be considered a terror attack.