France riots | Switzerland, Belgium witness unrest in echo of violence in France

France riots: In France, nearly 700 people were arrested across the country on the fifth night of unrest sparked by the police killing of a teenager. French Interior Ministry on 2nd July 2023, Sunday announced a provisional tally of 719 arrests overnight, compared with 1,300 on Friday night.

Rioters clashed with police on Saturday and early Sunday and targeted a mayor’s home with a burning car. Cars and public buildings have been set on fire. Local media reported that the government deployed 45,000 police and several armoured vehicles overnight to tackle the crisis. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said, the violence was beginning to ease thanks to tougher security measures, but the damage remained widespread, from Paris to Marseille and Lyon and French territories overseas. Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron postponed his scheduled visit to Germany as a result of unrest in the country.

Meanwhile, the neighbouring Switzerland and Belgium also witnessed unrest. On Saturday, several shop windows in the Swiss city of Lausanne were smashed as police officers dispersed youths who threw stones and a Molotov cocktail at them. On Thursday, about a dozen people were detained in the Belgian capital, Brussels, and several fires were brought under control.

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