People lit scooters and garbage bins on fire to demonstrate against a planned performance by a Congolese artist, in the area of the Gare de Lyon railway station. Protests had been banned ahead of the performance.
Travelers at the Gare de Lyon railway station in southeast Paris were evacuated after violence and a fire broke out on the sidelines of a banned protest against a Congolese musician's concert nearby.
Police said the fire was under control by nightfall, but flames could still be seen rising from the street near the station, near the banks of the Seine River. Police said they had intervened to stop protesters who were setting garbage bins and scooters alight, releasing a black cloud of smoke over the area.
Authorities had banned protests around the AccorHotels Arena in Paris, close to the station, where artist Fally Ipupa was set to perform.
Paris police said there were no immediate reports of injuries.
French police earlier said on Twitter that the railway station was being partially evacuated, without giving any further information. "Avoid the area and allow the emergency services to intervene," the tweet said.
A witness told Reuters that huge clouds of black smoke were billowing over the station and several fire trucks were in the area.
Congolese expats in France often accuse artists from the Democratic Republic of the Congo of being close to former President Joseph Kabila.
Fally Ipupa's scheduled concert in 2017 was canceled due to risks of "serious disturbances to the public order."
lc (Reuters, AFP, AP)