WATCH: Cars Burned, Police Attacked in Christmas Eve Riot in Paris after Kurdish Centre Shooting

People pass by cars which have been turned over during clashes following a demonstration o
JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP via Getty Images)

Riots in Paris continued into their second day in the wake of a mass shooting at a Kurdish community centre, with demonstrators being seen clashing with police and cars being overturned and set on fire.

Thousands of Kurdish demonstrators and left-wing activists poured out onto the streets of Paris on Christmas Eve in response to a shooting in which three people died and a further three people were injured at a Kurdish community centre on Friday morning.

The demonstration was attended by several left-wing elected officials, including the socialist Mayor of the 10th arrondissement — the area in Paris where the shooting occurred, Alexandra Cordebard. National Assembly member Sylvain Maillard of President Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance party also attended the protest.

The march quickly devolved into violence, with demonstrators being seen throwing projectiles at police, overturning and setting cars on fire, and in one instance even forcing a police van to retreat. Police were also seen responding to the riots with the use of tear gas.

According to the Le Parisien newspaper, there were shouts of “long live the resistance of the Kurdish people!” and demonstrators carried the flag of the PKK (the Kurdistan Workers’ Party) a U.S.-designated Marxist terrorist group.

So far, there have been 11 arrests carried out by police, according to Paris police prefect Laurent Nuñez, who reported that 31 officers had been injured as well as one protester in the chaotic scenes.

A spokesman for the Kurdish Democratic Council in France, Berivan Firat attributed the march descending into violence on outside forces, saying: “There were provocateurs who came aboard a vehicle with the Turkish flag by making the sign of the Grey Wolves so automatically, it provoked young people.”

The suspect in the shooting, who has currently only been identified as a 69-year-old man of French nationality named William M., has a history of violent actions, including being arrested last year for attacking a migrant camp with a sword in December of last year, wounding two men.

As of this reporting, a motive for the mass shooting on Friday has not been made public, however, the Paris prosecutor has said that they have not ruled out racism as a potential motive.

Yet, Interior Minsiter Gérald Darmanin said that the government was not aware of him being involved in any far-right organisations.

The suspected shooter was, however, reportedly just released from a mental health hospital on December 12th, with one of the conditions for release being a prohibition on carrying any weapons.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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