Posted on May 31, 2005

‘Race Killing’ Sparks French Riot

BBC News, May 30

Police say at least 37 people have been arrested after a night of violence in the southern French city of Perpignan.

The trouble started after a man of North African descent was shot dead.

Hundreds of North Africans clashed with police, who responded with tear gas and baton charges.

Tensions between North Africans and Romas have increased after another man of North African descent was beaten to death last week, allegedly by Romas.

On Saturday, more than 3,500 people demonstrated in a tense atmosphere in memory of Mohamed Bey Bachir, who was killed on 22 May.

French police say eight were injured in Sunday night’s violence following the latest killing, which left shops smashed and about 50 cars damaged or burnt out.

On Monday, pupils from schools near the scene of the shooting were being kept away from classes.

Perpignan’s mayor visited the shops destroyed in the violence and urged the two communities to enter a dialogue.