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Six police injured in clashes near Paris in weekend of violence

A spokesman for the main French trade union for police officers condemned what he called a general lack of interest among the public and in the media, after a weekend of clashes with the police.

Six police officers were injured and several buildings were damaged on Sunday during violent clashes with locals in the town of Chanteloup-les-Vignes about 30 kilometres west of Paris.

Five people were arrested.

The clashes began after a police patrol spotted an individual they had been seeking and tried to arrest the person at around 4.30 in the afternoon.

Around 60 people gathered to try to stop the arrest, using violence against the police, who retaliated with tear gas. Three police officers were taken to hospital with concussion.

Earlier in the afternoon about 15 youngsters tackled police officers following a car-chase.

Later in the day the ground floor of a block of flats was set alight and a vehicle in the grounds of the police station was completely destroyed by flames.

The walls of the police station were blackened with smoke and burning tyres could be seen in the streets.

The incident on Sunday was the fourth clash with the police in three days.

On Friday night a team of police officers were the subject of a crossbow attack in Alès in southwestern France, an officer was injured after a sabre attack in Nancy in Eastern France and a molotov cocktail was thrown at a police patrol in Grigny, just south of Paris.

Police trade unions have condemned what they see as a lack of reaction from the media and the general public.

“This weekend has been something to remember. And we get the impression that everyone finds this violence quite unremarkable. It’s quite worrying. And things might have been even more serious,” said Nicolas Comte, a spokesperson for the biggest police trade union.

“We expect a stiff penalties after this business”, he added.

The town of Chanteloup-les-Vignes has already been in the news for riots, following the decision by the manager of creche to sack one of her staff who refused to remove her islamic veil. 

Employees in French state-run establishments such as schools are not allowed to wear religious clothes or headgear, but the crêche was private and not state-run.

The dismissal was the subject of several court judgements and a further appeal by the employee is due to be considered at court in June.

 

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