France announces large police deployment during national holiday | News

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The Government of France announced this Wednesday that on the occasion of that country's national holiday, next July 14, it will carry out an exceptional mobilization of police, gendarmes and firefighters to prevent and combat possible acts of violence.


France bans sale of fireworks for July 14

During a press conference, the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, specified that 130,000 troops from the three forces will be mobilized, of which 45,000 will be deployed on the night of next Thursday and Friday.

He added that the total figure includes 34,000 firefighters and that the deployment will also include the special anti-terrorist units of the Gendarmerie and the Police. Likewise, helicopters, drones and armored vehicles will be used.

He justified such an operation with the need to avoid a resurgence of "extreme violence", a term he used to refer to the recent wave of protests and riots.

Darmanin recalled that in previous years, during the July 14 holiday, especially the night before, there have been acts of violence, especially in urban areas. He pointed out that on the occasion of the national date, in 2022, there were more than 800 detainees and more than 600 cars caught fire.

For his part, French President Emmanuel Macron warned that "if there are overflows, we will act with the greatest determination."

On June 27, a police officer shot dead in the city of Nanterre, on the outskirts of Paris, Nahel Merzouk, a 17-year-old young man of Algerian descent who did not stop at a traffic checkpoint. The event sparked massive protests and riots against police brutality, during which more than 12,000 cars were set on fire and shops, schools, libraries, police stations and other public buildings were looted.

Security forces detained about 4,000 people, Darmanim recalled, noting that more than 900 policemen were injured.

Last Sunday the French government announced that, on the occasion of July 14, it had prohibited the sale, possession and transport of fireworks, means that were widely used by protesters during the disorders following the death of Nahel.

The French national holiday is celebrated in commemoration of the storming of the Bastille in 1789. It was promulgated as a national date on July 6, 1880.

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