Kurdish protesters clash with Police in Paris after shooting

Kurdish protesters clash with Police in Paris after shooting

Police fired teargas as they clashed with Kurdish protesters after a racially-motivated shooting in Paris on Friday.

The scene of a triple murder in the 10th arrondissement descended into confrontations between officers in riot gear and Kurdish demonstrators.

Emmanuel Macron, the French president, condemned the shooting, which left three people dead outside a Kurdish community centre and hair salon on Rue d’Enghien.

“The Kurds in France have been the target of an odious attack in the heart of Paris,” he wrote.

“Thoughts for the people who are fighting for their lives, their families and their loved ones. Thanks to the security forces for their courage and sang-froid.”

Police arrested a white 69-year-old rail worker, identified as William M, over the shootings. The French national had been charged twice before for attempted murder, the first time in 2016 and the second last year following a knife attack at a migrant centre.

The alleged killer had been released on pre-trial detention a week or so before Friday’s attack. Local media reported that he was a recluse.

According to the M6 TV Channel, his father, who is in his 90s, said “He is crazy, he’s an idiot. He is a taciturn person who doesn’t live like normal people do.”

M6 said neighbours described the suspect as “strange”. It quoted an anonymous police officer as saying he had said “he didn’t like Kurds” during his arrest.

One woman and two men, all of whom have been identified as Kurdish activists, were killed. Three people were injured.

Gerald Darmanin, the interior minister, said the gunman was “clearly targeting foreigners”.

The man also entered the hair salon, where media reports said he was disarmed and was injured in the face.

By early evening, crowds of Kurds had arrived to pay their respects to the victims of the shooting. Some sought to reach the community centre.

Police deployed outside the building used teargas to disperse protesters who tried to break through a cordon protecting Mr Darmanin, who had arrived at the scene.

Objects were thrown, car windows smashed and fires started, while teargas was used in an attempt to disperse the crowd.

Prior to the escalation, protesters could be heard shouting slogans of Kurdish solidarity and phrases against Turkey, with whom the Kurds have been in armed conflict since 1978.

Some demonstrators chanted slogans in support of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, a Kurdish organisation designated as terrorist by Ankara, the European Union and others. “Martyrs don’t die,” some shouted.

Earlier in the day, Solenoide Coatanea, 27, who owns an interior decor shop on the street where the shooting happened, told The Telegraph the neighbourhood was “normally quiet”.

Speaking about the shootings, she said: “I saw a police car drive up really fast and heard the sirens but was working and didn’t pay attention. But then I saw a large crowd outside the shop and learned what happened. There are a lot of startups and offices and restaurants in the area.”

Eve Biolqay, 35, said: “It’s shocking and scary. I’ve lived here for five years and there were never any problems. This is a young, lively area and I’ve never felt unsafe.”

A shopkeeper in the area told AFP she heard seven or eight shots, adding: “It was total panic. We locked ourselves inside.”

The shooting recalled another attack in 2013, in which three female Kurdish activists were also gunned down in the same area.

The Kurdish community has voiced concerns about a lack of police protection from politically and racially-motivated attacks.

Alexandra Cordebard, the mayor of 10th district, said the gunman had been injured and was taken to hospital. (The Telegraph)

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