Police in the French city of Strasbourg arrested 20 individuals in the district of Neuhof after a mob attacked firemen with projectiles that included Molotov cocktails.
The attack took place on Tuesday at around 11 p.m. after it was reported that litter and wooden pallets were on fire in the area. When the firefighters began to tackle the blaze, they were ambushed by a mob of young men armed with projectiles.
Sylvain André, departmental delegate of the Alternative police-CFDT 67 union, reacted to the incident, saying: “The firefighters are called for any fire, often caused intentionally by thugs.”
He said their objective was to attack and terrify the firemen, franceinfo reported on Thursday.
Sullivan Mootooveeren, president of the autonomous firefighters union of Bas-Rhin, went on to add that a Molotov cocktail landed on one of the firemen, saying: “Fortunately, the cocktail went out when it arrived at the firefighter. But my colleague found himself soaked in petrol. He was shocked and filed a complaint.”
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The 20 who were arrested were mainly teens between the ages of 13 to 16, with a smaller number of adults aged between 20 and 30 who are said to have been directing the attack.
The attacks come around a month after Strasbourg, along with several other cities across France, saw rioting and attacks on police and other emergency services following an incident between police and a local youth in the Paris suburb of Villeneuve-la-Garenne.
In Strasbourg, local youths in the district of Meinau attempted to burn down a building containing a police station by throwing Molotov cocktails at the structure.
The city was also one of the main hubs for car burning attacks over New Year’s Eve, with 220 vehicles set on fire, double the number from the previous year.
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