UPDATE 2 - France suspends nationwide bus, tram services by sunset as a counter-protest measure

UPDATE 2 - France suspends nationwide bus, tram services by sunset as a counter-protest measure

Interior Minister instructs regional prefects to prohibit sale and transportation of petrol cans, acids, and large fireworks

UPDATES WITH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON TRANSPORT BAN, SOCIAL MEDIA MEASURES, FOREIGN MINISTRY STATEMENT, CHANGES IN HEADLINE AND DECK

By Gizem Taskin Nicollet

PARIS (AA) - France's Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin instructed different regions or prefects on Friday to suspend bus and tram services in the country at 9 p.m. (1900GMT) as a measure to combat violent protests that erupted following the fatal police shooting of a 17-year-old boy.

In a statement issued by the ministry, regional prefects were also asked to prohibit the sale and transportation of petrol cans, acids, and large fireworks.

Darmanin and Minister of State for Digital Transition and Telecommunications Jean-Noel Barrot will meet with representatives from several social networks, including Twitter, Snapchat, and TikTok, at 6:30 p.m.

The government said they would seek their assistance in identifying users of social media who engage in criminal activity.

French President Emmanuel Macron earlier told a news conference in Paris that groups were scheduling and organizing protests via large social platforms.

He also urged parents to be responsible and prevent their children from joining the riots.

"In this context, we call all parents to act responsibly," he said. "The current context is the outcome of organized and equipped groups but also many youngsters. A third of the arrested people are young, even very young."

Meanwhile, the Alliance Police Nationale and UNSA Police unions said in a joint statement that "today police officers are on the front lines because we are at war."

"Faced with these savage hordes, it's no longer enough to call for calm, it must be imposed," the statement added.

France is jolted by protests after Nahel M. was shot dead by police during a traffic stop in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, the French Foreign Ministry also rejected the UN's allegations of racial discrimination within its law enforcement agencies.

"The claims of racism or systemic discrimination within the French police force are completely baseless," the ministry said in a separate statement.

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