Ethnic violence prompts police to ban protests in Paris, including at US Embassy

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The Paris police authority said it had decided to ban three protests scheduled for Saturday, including a demonstration in front of the US Embassy, due to fears of public disorder and COVID-19 risks.

The police added in a statement on Friday that its decision to ban one of the protests was in light of recent gang violence between ethnic communities in Dijon and Nice.

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Last Saturday, protesters at an anti-racism rally in central Paris clashed with police, as a wave of anger continued to sweep the world following the death in the United States of African American George Floyd.

Chechen unrest: Police stage raids

French police carried out raids in the eastern city of Dijon on Friday after several nights of violence blamed on members of its Chechen community, officials said.

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“The police operations are aimed at finding weapons, ammunition and narcotics,” said Bernard Schmeltz, the government’s top official for the region.

Around 140 officers took part in the raids, which came a day after police detained six from Dijon’s large Chechen population on suspicions they took part in the violence.

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From Friday to Monday, the city was rocked by clashes and vehicle burnings after an assault this month on a 16-year-old Chechen boy, which prompted other members of the community to stage reprisal raids.

Chechens reportedly travelled to Dijon from all over France and even from neighboring Belgium and Germany to take part.

Scenes of the unrest, including men brandishing what appear to be assault rifles as well as handguns and clubs, shocked the country and prompted questions about whether security forces had taken sufficient measures to stop the fighting.

The national government eventually sent in police reinforcements to quell the violence.

The raids on Friday were carried out in the gritty Gresilles district that is home to many people originally from North Africa and where many of the clashes took place, and in two other neighborhoods.

Dijon prosecutor Eric Mathais said this week that investigators were trying to identify the participants.

No new clashes have occurred since Tuesday, and the father of the teenager who was assaulted has pleaded for calm.

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