France says police arrested nearly 4,000 people during protests over killing of teen

France says police arrested nearly 4,000 people during protests over killing of teen

Over 2,500 buildings either set on fire or damaged, including 168 schools, interior minister says

By Nur Asena Erturk

ANKARA (AA) – French police have arrested nearly 4,000 people during the nationwide protests over the killing of a 17-year-old, the country’s interior minister said.

Speaking at a Senate hearing on Wednesday, Gerald Darmanin said the average age of the protesters arrested was 17.

Less than 10% of the arrested people were foreigner citizens, and a third of the total were minors, he added.

"12,031 vehicles were set on fire, 2,508 buildings were either set on fire or damaged, including 105 town halls and 168 schools," Darmanin elaborated.

He also said 45,000 law enforcement officers were deployed across the country, and that two thirds of the arrested protesters were previously unknown to police.

Protests started last week when a police officer shot dead Nahel M. of Algerian decent during a traffic check in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre on June 27 after he allegedly ignored orders to stop.

The officer who fired the fatal shot faces a formal investigation for voluntary homicide and has been placed under preliminary detention.

After starting in Nanterre, the protests quickly spread to other cities, including Lyon, Toulouse, Lille, and Marseille.

Tensions rose following clashes between the police and protesters, before tapering off this week.

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