OLIVIER LABAN-MATTEI/AFP/Getty Images
While U.S. President Donald Trump was on a visit to France for the national Bastille Day celebrations in Paris, clashes in the capital’s migrant-dominated suburbs saw 13 security force members wounded and 897 cars burned.
The Interior Ministry said 368 people were placed in custody for riots and violence on the nights of 13 and 14 July — scenes which have become a regular occurrence in multicultural urban neighbourhoods of Paris at the start of Bastille Day celebrations each year.
“It is thanks to the large mobilisation of our security forces that there has been a significant reduction of the number of violent incidents, especially those involving fighting on the streets, committed on the fringes of the July 14 festivities,” stated Pierre-Henry Brandet, the spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior.
“Our security forces have been the target of intolerable attacks in the course of several episodes of urban violence,” he said, reporting that 13 police officers and soldiers were wounded in the clashes.
“The perpetrators will have to face up to their actions in court, as will the people who carried out torchings of vehicles — incidents of which there were clearly too many,” Brandet added.
The number of cars burned during Bastille Day festivities rose slightly from 2016, when 855 vehicles were torched, but the number of people arrested last year — 577 — was far higher.
In the early hours of Saturday morning a policeman was forced to open fire in the migrant-dominated Sevran neighbourhood in Seine-Saint-Denis, which was badly hit with car torchings over the previous days, after he was lynched “by some 30 individuals who decided to attack him with maximal violence”, ACTU17 reported.
The officer used his weapon to escape the attackers, some of whom were wielding iron bars, wounding one of them in the abdomen. The policeman was then rescued by reinforcements and taken to hospital, his face bloodied, and suffering multiple bruises all over the body.
In July last year, one day after a Catholic priest was murdered by Islamic terrorists, Mr Trump declared “France is no longer France,” lamenting the spate of terror attacks in the European nation.