Hundreds of French police raid travellers camp after riots

Hundreds of French gendarmes launched a major police operation on Monday morning at a travellers camp in the south east of France.

Hundreds of French police raid travellers camp after riots
Photo: BFM TV

Around 300 gendarmes took part in the raid in the town of Moirans, a town of around 8,000 inhabitants, which is home to a sizeable traveller community.

The raid was in connection with a night of rioting in the town last October that had shocked France and prompted accusations that the government had lost control.

On Monday at least 14 people were arrested in connection with the riots as well as other offences.

October’s violence saw members of the traveller community go on the rampage after one of them was refused to be allowed out of prison to attend his brother’s funeral.

Cars were burned and then pushed onto the rail tracks at the local train station. There was also a riot in the prison where the brother was an inmate.

Around 100 police and another 120 firefighters were required to bring the violence under control.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls had taken to Twitter to condemn “unacceptable violence” and demand “firmness… (and) restoration of order.”

The riot came less than two months after another traveller community in northern France blocked a motorway after authorities refused to temporarily release the son of a shooting victim to attend his father's funeral, with the opposition criticising the government's response as weak.

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