French police battle rioters in deprived Toulouse suburb

AFP - [email protected] • 17 Apr, 2018 Updated Tue 17 Apr 2018 12:04 CEST
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Angry youths in a deprived area of the French city of Toulouse have attacked police, torched cars and set fire to garbage during two nights of clashes that have led to 18 arrests, police said Tuesday.


The rioting in the Mirail area of the southern city, a high-crime neighbourhood once home to several jihadists, was apparently sparked by the death of a local man in prison and an identity check by police on a veiled woman on Sunday.
After nearly four hours of clashes on Sunday night that saw gangs throw  stones at the local police station and set fire to about 10 cars, violence flared again on Monday night.
"Security forces were targeted throughout the night and carried out 18 arrests for violence, arson and insults," a statement from top local security official Pascal Mailhos said.
People walk in the Mirail area in Toulouse, southern France where the clashes have been taking place. Photo: AFP
Anger in the area appeared to have been fuelled by the death of a local man in the nearby Seysses prison on Saturday which led to rumours that guards were 
A judicial investigation is underway, local prosecutors said, adding that  an autopsy had found that suicide was the cause of the death.
Local police chief Arnaud Bavois said that an identity check on a fully  veiled woman on Sunday exacerbated the tensions after she refused to show her papers to officers.
The Mirail area of Toulouse, whose high-rise social housing projects are  known areas for drug-dealing and delinquency, is a troublespot that has been designated a priority area by French police. 
The city is also home to European aerospace giant Airbus.



AFP 2018/04/17 12:04

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