February 7, 2023

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Riots broke out in Paris near the site of a racially motivated mass shooting that killed three people and injured three others.

Emmanuel Macron said the country’s Kurdish community was the victim of a horrific attack, while his interior minister Gerald Darmanin said the suspect was clearly targeting foreigners.

Gunfire rang out on Rue d’Enghien around noon on Friday, sparking panic on a street lined with small shops and cafes in the French capital’s bustling 10th arrondissement.

Police fired tear gas as darkness descended to drive back an angry mob as projectiles were thrown at officers, trash cans and restaurant tables were overturned, and cars were damaged.

A 69-year-old man named William M was arrested. Prosecutor Laure Beccuau said he was recently released from detention pending trial for a saber attack on a migrant camp in Paris a year ago.

He was convicted in June of committing violent acts with a weapon in 2016 and appealed.

An investigative source said the attacker arrived in the area “armed with a rifle and deliberately targeted an area full of immigrants, including recent arrivals sleeping in the wild.”

They added: “He threatened people in a hairdresser, a restaurant and people near the Ahmet-Kaya Kurdish Cultural Center. He seemed bent on killing as many people as possible.’

epa10377092 A police officer stands behind a cordon in 'Rue d'Enghien' after a shooting incident near a Kurdish cultural center in Paris, France, December 23, 2022. The Paris police prefecture announced on its social media that a suspect has been detained in connection with the incident.  EPA/TERESA SUAREZ

A police officer stands behind a cordon in the ‘Rue d’Enghien’ after a shooting (Photo: EPA)

Protesters clash with French riot police officers following a statement by French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin (unseen) at the scene of multiple shots fired along rue d'Enghien in Paris' 10th arrondissement on December 23, 2022.  - Two people were killed and four injured in a shooting in central Paris on December 23, 2022, police and prosecutors said, adding that the shooter, in his 60s, had been arrested.  The gunman's motives remain unclear, with two of the four injured left in a serious condition, French officials said.  (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP) (Photo by THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Protesters clashed with French riot police (Photo: AFP via Getty)

Mandatory credit: Photo by Blondet Eliot/ABACA/Shutterstock (13682773bv) On December 23, 2022, riots break out at the place where several shots were fired along the rue d'Enghien in the 10th arrondissement in Paris.  Three people were killed and four injured in a shooting in central Paris on December 23, 2022, police and prosecutors said, adding that the gunman, in his 60s, had been arrested.  The gunman's motives remain unclear, with two of the four injured left in a serious condition, French officials said.  Three dead, several injured after shooting - Paris, France - December 23, 2022

Three people were killed in the attack (Photo: ABACA/Shutterstock)

PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 23: Angry protesters take on French riot police after violent clashes erupted following French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin's visit to the scene of a deadly shooting that killed three people earlier in the day on December 23 came to life.  2022 in Paris, France.  Protesters, mainly from the Kurdish community, expressed concern that they felt unprotected in France after the attack, blaming the Turkish government, while the French government blamed identity politics and far-right ideology for the attacks , although an official investigation is still underway.  Police arrested a 69-year-old man in connection with the attack, which took place in the 10th arrondissement, not far from Gare de l'Est station and a Kurdish cultural center.  (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)

Angry protesters take on French riot police after violent clashes erupt (Photo: Getty)

PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 23: Angry protesters take on French riot police after violent clashes erupted following French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin's visit to the scene of a deadly shooting that killed three people earlier in the day on December 23 came to life.  2022 in Paris, France.  Protesters, mainly from the Kurdish community, expressed concern that they felt unprotected in France after the attack, blaming the Turkish government, while the French government blamed identity politics and far-right ideology for the attacks , although an official investigation is still underway.  Police arrested a 69-year-old man in connection with the attack, which took place in the 10th arrondissement, not far from Gare de l'Est station and a Kurdish cultural center.  (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)

Demonstrators were mainly from the Kurdish community and expressed concern that they felt unprotected in France after the attack (Photo: Getty)

TOPSHOT - Protesters clash with French riot police officers following a statement by French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin (unseen) at the scene where several shots were fired along rue d'Enghien in the 10th arrondissement on December 23, 2022 Paris.  - Three people were killed and three injured in a shooting in central Paris on December 23, 2022, police and prosecutors said, adding that the shooter, in his 60s, had been arrested.  The gunman's motives remain unclear, with two of the four injured left in a serious condition, French officials said.  (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP) (Photo by THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images)

The motives of the shooter remain unclear (Photo: AFP via Getty)

Clashes with French police during a demonstration near Rue d'Enghien after gunshots were fired killing and injuring several people in a central district of Paris, France December 23, 2022. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

Police with riot shields (Image: Reuters)

Eyewitness Mehmet Dilek said he first heard gunshots and then screams coming from a barber shop opposite the cultural center. Bystanders suppressed the gunman as he reloaded, he added.

“It can be shocking to someone who has never worried in his life. But we grew up under the threat of guns and bombs, that’s life for us Kurds,” he continued.

The shootings were a “terrible drama,” district mayor Alexandra Cordebard told reporters. One of the injured had life-threatening injuries, she said.

The shooting took place near a Kurdish cultural center

The shooting took place near a Kurdish cultural center

French police and firefighters secure a street after gunshots were fired that killed two people and injured several in a central district of Paris, France December 23, 2022. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

French police and firefighters secure a street (Image: Reuters)

Kurdish leaders called for better protection of their community, a theme for Kurds in France since the high-profile murder of three Kurdish women a decade ago.

“Kurds, wherever they live, should be able to live in peace and security,” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said on Twitter.

“Paris is now more than ever by their side in these dark times.”

Julien Verplancke, who works at another local restaurant, Chez Minna, said staff at the Kurdish restaurant came out of the building in tears after the shooting.

Several hours later, armed police were still guarding a security cordon as detectives combed the scene.

An investigation has been opened into murder, manslaughter and aggravated violence.

Salih Azad, a prominent figure from the Kurdish community in Marseille, said he knew one of the victims, a 26-year-old woman who had lived in Paris for several years.

“She was socially and culturally well integrated,” he said.

Contact our news team by emailing webnews@metro.co.uk.

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