Conflict in Amiens: In Brief

Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls in the Northern French city of Amiens to respond to recent violence.
Photo: Reuters

The nights of violence seem to have finally been calmed. One hundred additional police were deployed to Amiens, leading to the first relatively peaceful night in Amiens this week.

In the northern French city of Amiens, violent riots broke out Monday night and into Tuesday morning. In the North neighborhood of the city, about a hundred young people clashed with police in response to an earlier conflict Sunday night. The whole affair was started because of a traffic stop on Sunday which was deemed “agressive” by some involved. The driver who was driving dangerously according to French reports, was stopped as a funeral was taking place for a young man killed in a road accident. The sister of the victim, Sabrina Hadji, told CNN that police opened fire while mourners stood nearby at the service. Other locals have reported the use of teargas and rubber bullets.

Reports are saying that rioters brought buckshot, fireworks, projectiles and firearms to the riot Monday night and fired shots against the police. 16 police were injured in the event and three public buildings were set fire as well as cars and trash cans. While some local residents claim that there has been a history of excessive policing, Manual Valls called the incident “unacceptable.” in a press conference Valls told reporters “Firearms! Can it be considered normal that people turn firearms on police?”

Amiens had previously been placed on a list of the 15 priority security zones in the country. The city has had a recent history of high unemployment and civil unrest. Many residents, especially young people, in these high risk areas feel excluded from the national conversation and that they are being ignored.

The incident has reminded many of the 2005 widespread riots after two young people were killed in Clichy-sous-Bois outside of Paris

But for now, order seems to have been restored with an increased police presence.

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