Police chiefs in the French city of Blois said on Thursday they are bracing for another night of violence after rioters attacked officers, ransacked a shop and lit fires following a car accident that killed a teenager.
On Tuesday night, officers in Blois, situated southwest of Paris, were pelted with a barrage of fireworks and other objects, while a delivery driver was kicked out of a truck that was then used as a battering ram against police, according to AFP.
Officers reportedly fired a dozen shots at the vehicle as it sped away and crashed into a hedge, without causing any injuries.
Footage posted to social media appeared to show people destroying fixtures inside an Aldi supermarket, which was reportedly set on fire, along with the local Avia gas station and a nursery.
Plus de 500 millions € ont été investis pour les quartiers de la ville de #Blois. Voila le résultat. Un magasin #Aldi pillé et incendié après une semaine d’ouverture. Le gaspillage de l’argent des Français doit s’arrêter. La première chose à faire est de remettre de l’ordre ! pic.twitter.com/UgEKITEEHn
— Philippe Torre (@PhilippeTorre1) March 17, 2021
Another video showed a gang of youths smash a car and set fire to the vehicle, while other footage purported to capture people attacking firefighters and police.
A #Blois, ils sont devenus fous!
Un camion projeté sur les #policiers, un #Aldi saccagé et pillé, une crèche visée, une station service attaquée, 3 véhicules brûlés.
Car des voyous ont commis un refus d’obtempérer et se sont plantés tout seul!
Aucun #policier blessé 🙏. pic.twitter.com/H6lt8WiqLf
— Commissaires de Police SICP (@SICPCommissaire) March 17, 2021
A Blois un véhicule qui refuse d’obtempérer provoque un grave accident, le conducteur du véhicule incriminé a pris la fuite à pied après la collision.
Alors que les pompiers et policiers portent secours, des individus prennent à partie les services de secours
Bilan humain lourd pic.twitter.com/muj6ZBWbkX
— OSS117 (@MikeDelta59) March 17, 2021
The violence lasted for around three hours and a helicopter, 50 officers from the wider region, and an elite tactical unit of the French national police were drafted in to disperse the chaos.
As many as 100 rioters were involved, but police did not make any arrests, according to reports.
There were no reports of violence on Wednesday, but the security plans will remain in place on Thursday night, a police spokesperson for the Loir-et-Cher department, where Blois is located, said.
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On Thursday, it was confirmed that the 15-year-old boy who was involved in the traffic collision that sparked the riots has died from his injuries.
The youth and an 18-year-old were both passengers in a car that crashed after the driver tried to flee from a police traffic stop on Tuesday night.
The pair were rushed to hospital with serious injuries, while the unidentified driver escaped and remains wanted by police. An investigation into the incident has been launched.
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