Looters, violence and road accidents tarnish French World Cup party

The Local France
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Looters, violence and road accidents tarnish French World Cup party

France erupted in joy after winning the World Cup on Sunday but scenes of joy turned to violence on the Champs Elysees in Paris where youths looted a store and clashed with police. At least two men died in accidents during the celebrations.


Fans poured into the streets across the country after the country's second World Cup win, many waving flags and letting off smoke bombs.

Some 4,000 police and security forces have been deployed across Paris during the World Cup festivities, and a vast security perimeter prohibiting 
vehicle access has been set up around the Champs Elysees avenue. 

Dozens of youths shattered windows at a popular store on the Champs Elysees avenue Sunday while hundreds of thousands of fans celebrated France's World Cup victory, according to an AFP journalist at the scene.

About 30 people, many wearing ski masks, broke into the Publicis Drugstore and later left with bottles of wine and champagne, some smiling and filming themselves with cellphones. 

Some also threw objects at police forces who responded with tear gas.

"That's not how you celebrate," a tearful bystander wearing a French team jersey said.

Following the looting TV images showed youths and riot police clashing on the Champs Elysées as the presenter talked of the party being ruined.

Shortly before midnight riot police tried to evacuate the Champs Elysées which led to more clashes with youths hurling bottles and rocks at police who responded with water canon and tear gas.

Elsewhere in France, authorities said clashes erupted in the southern city of Lyon between police and about 100 youths who had climbed on top of a police vehicle at an open-air showing of the match in the city centre.

Police fired tear gas to disperse the youths who responded by throwing objects and setting rubbish bins on fire.

No arrests had been announced but clashes were continuing at around 10:30 pm (2030 GMT) on a bridge as a group of about 50 youths tried to break through police barricades to reach the city centre.

In Frouard, a town outside the eastern city of Nancy, a three-year-old boy and two six-year-old girls were seriously injured after being struck by a 
motorcycle during the celebrations.

Authorities said the motorcyclist had fled the scene.

In the southeast city of Annecy police said a 50-year-old man died after breaking his neck when he jumped into a shallow canal just when the final 
whistle blew to signal the end of the match.

And a man in his thirties died after crashing into a tree while celebrating shortly after the game in the small town of Saint-Felix in northern France.



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