Hundreds of police were deployed after residents rioted and torched cars in Toulouse following a police stop of a woman wearing an illegal full-face Islamic veil.
The incident that allegedly sparked the riots took place Sunday after 5 pm when local police stopped a woman in the Toulouse district of Bellefontaine who was wearing a full-face Islamic veil, which is illegal in France.
Police asked the woman for identification and when she presented a poor photocopy of her government identification, they ordered her to remove her veil, broadcaster Franceinfo reports.
The woman refused to lift her veil and is said to have started screaming for help. She was then arrested and placed in the police vehicle.
Shortly after, around 30 locals arrived and attacked the police with projectiles, injuring one officer. The officers retreated and discharged their weapons, including a tear gas launcher, 18 times before they could escape the mob.
Police believe there may have been a link between the incident and the riots in Bellefontaine and the neighbouring district of Reynerie which erupted at around 8 pm.
Around 15 cars were torched by the rioters and 200 police mobilised during the riots which lasted several hours with some 300 tear gas grenades fired until calm was restored at around midnight.
Firefighters were not able to reach the scene until after 10:30 pm due to residents lighting fires on the road. The police station in Bellefontaine was also targetted by rioters.
“The clashes were extremely violent,” said Didier Martinez of the peacekeeping union. “My colleagues were very shocked, the events were very complicated to manage but they showed a lot of composure.”
While some link the niqab incident to the riots, other sources have speculated that the apparent suicide of a prisoner on Saturday at the Seysses prison near Toulouse may have also sparked the violence.
Car burnings are a common occurrence in some of the more troubled suburbs of France and are especially common in the suburbs around the French capital of Paris. Zone urbaine sensible, ZUS, better known as No Go Zones in English are a long-understood phenomenon that nonetheless are only now being recognised by establishment powers as actually existing.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently admitted that No Go Zones do exist in her country, only shortly after they were exposed in Breitbart London Editor-in-Chief Raheem Kassam’s groundbreaking book No Go Zones: How Sharia Law is Coming to a Neighborhood Near You.
On New Year’s Eve in 2016, police estimated that over 1,000 cars were torched across the country and several months later during the Bastille Day celebrations another 897 cars were set on fire in Paris’s heavily migrant populated suburbs.