International News Network
France sends police reinforcements to Dijon after 3 days of unrest
The French government sent police reinforcements and a top official to the eastern city of Dijon on Tuesday, with the aim of restoring order after three days of violent clashes. "The events of the last few days in the Gresilles district of Dijon, where there had been gatherings of youths which had led to vehicles and dustbins set on fire, only leads to more insecurity and worries for the local population, following on from the events of the weekend," the local police force said in a statement on Twitter.
Thirty-seven anti-riot police were deployed to the city in Eastern France and an additional 110 were sent in on. France's deputy interior minister Laurent Nunez was also expected to arrive on Tuesday to review the situation. French media reported that unrest had broken out over the weekend in the city of 155,000 inhabitants. Local prefect Bernard Schmeltz said in a statement that the violence "appeared to be part of a settling of scores between members of the Chechen community in France and residents" of Dijon.
The unrest was traced back to an attack on a 16-year-old member of the local Chechen diaspora community on June 10. French media reported that he was attacked by local drug dealers. Police said that members of the community then carried outraids in retaliation for the assault. One incident saw around 50 Chechens enter the district of Gresilles, where a man who owns a pizzeria was seriously wounded by apparent gunfire. Some 200 people with violent intentions also came to the district, police said.
Dijon prosecutor Eric Mathais said six people have been injured over the three days of unrest, but that no arrests had been made. An investigation had been open into attempted murder by a criminal gang, he said. "What happened is unprecedented an unacceptable," the city's mayor Francois Rebsamen told a news agency.