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Nantes police clash with protesters after shooting

July 5, 2018

Police in the southwestern French city of Nantes again clashed with protesters overnight. The demonstrations followed a deadly shooting by police of a man during a stop-and-search.

Riot police in Nantes
Image: Getty Images/AFP/S. Salom Gomis

Police arrested at least 12 people during a second night of protests in the French city of Nantes. Demonstrators clashed with riot police on Wednesday night, with the unrest lasting through the night in the districts of Breil and Garges-les-Gonesse among others.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, who was in Nantes on Thursday, condemned the violence. He also tweeted that "above all, it hurts the development of these districts and darkens the prospects of their residents."

The protests followed the death of a 22-year-old man, identified by local media as Aboubakar F., who was fatally shot in Breil during a stop-and-search operation.

The man, who grew up in one of the city's most deprived districts, was wanted for robbery and other offenses.

Edouard Philippe
PM Edouard Philippe visited Nantes on ThursdayImage: Getty Images/AFP/D. Meyer

When he was stopped, police say he attempted to reverse the car he was in, hurting one of the police officers in the knee. This led another officer to open fire.

A woman who filmed the incident has contradicted the police's account and an investigation has been opened.

Within hours of the man's death, protesters gathered in several neighborhoods of Nantes. Molotov cocktails were thrown, vehicles set on fire and a shopping center attacked.

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French police frequently clash with protesters in deprived areas of major French cities, with officers often accused of being heavy-handed.

A silent march has been planned for Thursday evening in Nantes over his death.

ng/jm (AFP, AP)

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