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Thursday, 16 February 2017

PARIS ON FIRE: Riots reach capital's centre - buildings set ablaze and police attacked.

PARIS ON FIRE: Riots reach capital's centre - buildings set ablaze and police attacked.

WIDESPREAD suburban rioting spilled into central Paris last night as hundreds went on the rampage over the alleged rape of a young black man by French police.


Officers were forced to unleash tear-gas on angry crowds as buildings and rubbish bins were set on fire around the Barbes Metro station, which is just around the corner from the Eurostar hub at Gare du Nord. 
As fire crews went in to extinguish the blazes, lines of riot police were attacked, and shops were looted. 
A policeman at the scene said: “Windows have been smashed and officers attacked. 
“Small groups of protestors wearing hoods to hide their identities are causing trouble and then running away.
Paris riotsREUTERS
Central Paris is now being hit by the spreading violence
Windows have been smashed and officers attacked
Paris police officer
“Small groups of protestors wearing hoods to hide their identities are causing trouble and then running away.
“Everything is being done to try and disperse the crowds, but this could go on for a long time yet.” 
Tension have been high in council estates in the Paris suburbs since February 2, when a man identified only as Theo was beaten up and allegedly raped.
The youth worker said he was sodomised by police with a truncheon, as well as being racially abused, spat at and beaten around his genitals.
One unidentified officer has been charged with rape, and three more with assault since Theo was sent to hospital. 
He underwent emergency surgery, and has since been visited by President Francois Hollande, who has appealed for calm.
Angry scenes hit the French capital with police attackedREUTERS
Angry scenes hit the French capital with police attacked
Youths are furious in ParisREUTERS
Youths are furious over the alleged rape of a man called Theo
Police stations and squad cars have been attacked since, along with patrols trying to operate around France.
Last night's protest at Barbes was an illegal one, with police in the 18th arrondissement refusing to give permission for it.
The areas is also close to the Sacre Coeur basilica in the Montmartre area - one hugely popular with tourists, including many from Britain.
Many fear a repeat of the mass housing estate rioting that blighted France over three weeks in 2005, leading to a State of Emergency being declared.