France’s Kurds have become the target of a “heinous” attack on Friday, President Emmanuel Macron said in a tweet after a gunman earlier had killed three people at a Kurdish community center in central Paris.
“The Kurds of France have been the target of a heinous attack in the heart of Paris. Our thoughts are with the victims, the people who are struggling to live, their families and loved ones,” Macron said in a tweet.
For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
A gunman shot dead three people at a Kurdish cultural center and nearby Kurdish cafe in central Paris on Friday, prompting scores of protesters to take to nearby streets.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said the suspected assailant had clearly wanted to target foreigners, but there was no evidence yet that he had picked out Kurds specifically.
Multiple gunshots were fired on Rue d’Enghien at about midday, sowing panic on a street lined with small shops and cafes in the French capital’s busy 10th district.
All three of the deceased victims were Kurdish, a lawyer for the Kurdish cultural center told Reuters.
As evening fell, riot police fired teargas to push back an angry crowd a short distance from the scene of the shootings as projectiles were thrown at officers, rubbish bins and restaurant tables overturned and at least one car damaged.
Authorities said they had arrested a 69-year-old man, who Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau said had recently been freed from detention while awaiting trial for a saber attack on a migrant camp in Paris a year ago.
Gunman in Paris kills three in attack on Kurdish center, sparking protests