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Tensions on France’s streets ease, arrests on Sunday night down

a phrase that reads "no justice, no peace" is painted on a crystal cube, in nanterre
"No Justice, No Peace" is painted on a cube at a neighbourhood where Nahel, a 17-year-old teenager, was killed by a French police officer during a traffic stop, in Nanterre, France, July 3, 2023. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

Fewer than 160 people were arrested in overnight in connection to riots that have rocked cities across France following the killing of a teenager by a police officer, the interior ministry said on Monday.

The relative calm following five nights of heavy riots offered some relief to the government of Emmanuel Macron in its fight to regain control of the situation, just months after widespread protests over an unpopular pension reform and a year out from hosting the Olympic Summer Games.

The interior ministry said 157 people were arrested overnight, down from over 700 arrests the night before and over 1,300 on Friday night.

Three of the 45,000 police officers deployed overnight were injured, the ministry said, while around 350 buildings and 300 vehicles were damaged, according to provisional figures.

The grandmother of the teenager shot dead by police during a traffic stop in a Paris suburb said on Sunday she wanted the nationwide rioting triggered by his killing to end.

Since the killing last Tuesday, rioters have torched cars, looted stores and targeted town halls and other properties – including the home of the mayor of a Paris suburb, which was attacked while his wife and children were asleep inside on Saturday.

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