French CRS anti-riot police officers walk in a street in Villeneuve-la-Garenne in Paris on Monday. AFP
Police fought running battles overnight in Paris's low-income northern suburbs with residents alleging heavy-handedness by officers enforcing France's strict coronavirus lockdown.
Residents burned trash and cars and shot fireworks at police, who responded with rubber bullets and tear gas in the suburbs of Villeneuve-la-Garenne and Aulnay-sous-Bois, witnesses and police said on Monday.
The tensions were ignited in the early hours of Saturday when a motorcyclist was injured during a police check in Villeneuve-la-Garenne, prompting about 50 angry bystanders to gather.
A police statement said the group targeted officers with "projectiles" in a near two-hour standoff.
The motorcyclist, 30, was hospitalised with a broken leg and had to undergo surgery after he had crashed into the open door of a police car.
Residents allege the door was opened deliberately so that the rider would smash into it.
The man will lodge a complaint against the officers, his family and a lawyer told AFP, while prosecutors have opened an investigation.
By Monday morning, calm had returned to Villeneuve-la-Garenne after a second night of riots marked by suburban fires and explosions, an AFP journalist observed.
The trouble had also spread to nearby Aulnay-sous-Bois, where police claimed they were "ambushed" by residents in a district of dense, high-rise social housing of mainly immigrant occupants who claim they are regularly the victims of harsh police treatment.
Police said they were targeted by residents using fireworks as projectiles. Four were arrested.
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"It was nothing short of a miracle and the realisation of an impossible dream. We thank the UAE for their great support in arranging the reunion. This is an example of the UAE’s humanitarian approach, as well as of its noble values of tolerance and coexistence," they stressed, adding that it is a model for the whole world to emulate.