Hollande vows to fight the riots

French President François Hollande on Tuesday promised a tough response to a riot that devastated a deprived neighbourhood in the northern city of Amiens overnight.

"The state will mobilise all its means to combat these violent acts," Hollande said after a night of unrest that left 16 police officers injured, a primary school badly damaged by fire and a sports centre completely destroyed.

"Security is not only a priority for us, it is an obligation."

Hollande's Interior Minister Manuel Valls was due to visit Amiens later on Tuesday.

The riot, which the local mayor has linked to rising social tension against a backdrop of a deteriorating economy, cast a shadow over Hollande's
celebration of 100 days since he was elected.

Hollande was in the southeastern village of Pierrefeu-du-Var to pay tribute to two female police officers who were shot dead in the line of duty in June.

The visit was intended to underline the Socialist president's support for the police and his determination to address public concerns over crime.

But it risked backfiring after the father of one of the two murdered policewomen denounced it as a public relations stunt.

Claude Berthaut, whose daughter Audrey was shot dead alongside her colleague Alicia Champlon, said: "I regret that he didn't come before but has
instead come for communications purposes 100 days after his election.

"In my mind, it is two months too late."    

Hollande sent an official from his private office to represent him at the funerals of the two officers, citing prior commitments.

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French prosecutors demand jail term for Russian accused of leaving England football fan with brain damage

French prosecutors on Friday called for a 15-year prison sentence for one of two Russians accused of beating a British supporter during Euro 2016, an attack that left him with brain injuries.

French prosecutors demand jail term for Russian accused of leaving England football fan with brain damage
Russian fans light flares at the match against England in 2016.. Photo: AFP

One prosecutor, Christophe Raffin, asked for the “legal maximum… between 14 and 15 years” for Pavel Kossov, who is accused of throwing the first punch at 55-year-old Andrew Bache.

Bache was injured in the violence that broke out before England played Russia in the southern French port city of Marseille on June 11th, 2016.

The second Russian on trial in Aix-en-Provence, Mikhail Ivkine, stands accused of throwing a chair at the victim, with prosecutors asking for a potential suspended sentence of up to five years.

He has claimed he was defending himself.

“No, it wasn't legitimate self-defence, it was illegitimate use of force against Andrew Bache,” Raffin said of the violence.


Police give emergency aid to Andrew Bache following clashes in the city of Marseille. Photo: AFP

The prosecutors said the Russians were part of a group of about 150 men, many with martial arts training, who wrought havoc in Marseille.

Bache, from Portsmouth in southern England, has no memory of the events and is too frail to attend the trial.

His son Harry, who nurses his father, is representing him in court.