Clashes between police and Kurdish protesters enraged by the gunman’s murders of three members of their community broke out for the second day in Paris on Saturday.
Some protesters threw objects at police as they were leaving the square, and the officers replied by using tear gas. Before the protesters dispersed, there were skirmishes that lasted for around two hours.
The shootings at the Kurdish cultural center and cafe on Friday in a popular area of Paris’ 10th district shocked the neighbourhood as it was getting ready to mark the 10th anniversary of the unsolved murder of three activists.
In the vicinity of Republic Square, where Kurds had previously staged a peaceful protest, cars were overturned, protesters set fire to at least one vehicle, shop windows were broken, and small fires were started.
It was unclear why the protest suddenly became violent, according to Paris police Chief Laurent Nunez.
Police detained a 69-year-old man who was recently released from custody after being accused of using a sabre to attack a migrant camp in Paris one year prior.
According to the prosecutor’s office, after questioning the defendant, authorities added an alleged racist motivation to their initial charges of murder and violent crime, using a weapon.
The prosecutor’s office provided an update, noting that the interrogation was ultimately suspended due to health concerns and the guy was moved to a mental health facility.
The suspect would be introduced to an investigating magistrate once his health permitted, it was said.
The Kurdish Democratic Council in France (CDK-F) organized the demonstration in Republic Square on Saturday following a gathering on Friday afternoon that also resulted in altercations with police.
Hundreds of Kurdish protesters waved flags and listened to memorials for the deceased as they were joined by officials, including the mayor of Paris’ 10th district.