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French police fire tear gas at protest in Lille over police violence

French police fired tear gas to disperse around 2,000 demonstrators protesting against racism and police brutality in the northern city of Lille on Thursday.

French police fire tear gas at protest in Lille over police violence
Protests in Lille on Thursday. Photo: AFP

“No justice, no peace,” the crowd chanted, echoing the protests which have taken place across the United States following the death of unarmed African American George Floyd in the hands of police.

The marchers also brandished placards, some in English, bearing slogans now familiar in the US protests: “Black lives matter”, “I can't breathe,” and “Stop police violence”.

The mainly young crowd in Lille marched to the city centre, also calling for “justice for Adama”.

Protests took place across France on Tuesday evening in the name of Adama Traore – a young black man who died in French police custody in 2016.

READ ALSO Who is Adama Traore and why are there protests across France in his name?

 

Many protesters in Lille carried banners in English mirroring the protests that swept across the USA. Photo: AFP

On Thursday police in Lille fired tear gas to disperse the protesters but flashpoint incidents continued as night fell.

“Today people feel stigmatised, ostracised by the Republic and these people… demand above all to be integrated, recognised, treated like everyone else,” one of the marchers, 32-year-old Sofian Betrancourt, told AFP.

“The question of police violence has been on the table for many years, but at the same time this inequality is displayed on a global basis,” he added.

The Paris protest on Tuesday attracted more than 20,000 people, the majority of whom protested peacefully but there were flashpoints at the end of the protest as people throw things at police and set fire to street furniture.

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POLICE

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

A Frenchwoman and a Spaniard were killed and nine other mountaineers were injured on Friday in an ice fall in southwest Switzerland, police said following a rescue attempt involving several helicopters.

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

Police received calls at 6.20 am reporting that mountaineers had been caught up in falling seracs — columns of glacial ice formed by crevasses — on the Grand Combin, a glacial massif near the Italian border in the Wallis region.

Seven helicopters with mountain rescue experts flew to the scene, finding 17 mountaineers split among several groups.

“Two people died at the scene of the accident,” Wallis police said in a statement. They were a 40-year-old Frenchwoman and a 65-year-old man from Spain.

Nine mountaineers were airlifted to hospitals in nearby Sion and in Lausanne. Two of them are seriously injured, police said.

Other mountaineers were evacuated by helicopter.

The regional public prosecutor has opened an investigation “to determine the circumstances of this event”, the police said.

The serac fall happened at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Plateau de Dejeuner section along the Voie du Gardien ascent route.

The Grand Combin massif has three summits above 4,000 metres, the highest of which is the Combin de Grafeneire at 4,314 metres.

The police issued a note of caution about setting off on such high-altitude expeditions.

“When the zero-degree-Celsius isotherm is around 4,000 metres above sea level, it is better to be extra careful or not attempt the route if in doubt,” Wallis police said.

“The golden rule is to find out beforehand from the mountain guides about the chosen route and its current feasibility.”

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