Looters, Violence Tarnish French World Cup Party, Cops Deploy Tear Gas, Water Cannons
Tehran(KNA) : France erupted in joy after winning the World Cup on Sunday but scenes of joy turned to violence on the Champs Elysees in Paris where youths looted a store and clashed with police.
Fans poured into the streets across the country after the country's second World Cup win, many waving flags and letting off smoke bombs. Some 4,000 police and security forces have been deployed across Paris during the World Cup festivities, World News reported.
Dozens of youths shattered windows at a popular store on the Champs Elysees avenue Sunday while hundreds of thousands of fans celebrated France's World Cup victory.
Parisian law enforcement officers had to deploy tear gas and water cannons to stop unruly groups from vandalizing the streets of the capital, damaging shops and setting trash cans on fire.
About 30 people, many wearing ski masks, broke into the Publicis Drugstore and later left with bottles of wine and champagne, some smiling and filming themselves with cellphones. Some also threw objects at police forces who responded with tear gas.
Shortly before midnight riot police tried to evacuate the Champs Elysees which led to more clashes with youths hurling bottles and rocks at police who responded with water canon and tear gas.
The party mood was also ruined in Marseille, where firecrackers, smoke flares, and projectiles were thrown at police lines. Law enforcement had to intervene using tear gas to suppress the crowd, which also smashed car windows and set trash cans on fire.
Elsewhere in France, authorities said clashes erupted in the Southern city of Lyon between police and about 100 youths who had climbed on top of a police vehicle at an open-air showing of the match in the city centre. Police fired tear gas to disperse the youths who responded by throwing objects and setting rubbish bins on fire.
No arrests had been announced but clashes were continuing on a bridge as a group of about 50 youths tried to break through police barricades to reach the city centre.
In Frouard, a town outside the Eastern city of Nancy, a three-year-old boy and two six-year-old girls were seriously injured after being struck by a motorcycle during the celebrations, while the motorcyclist had fled the scene.
In the Southeast city of Annecy police reported that a 50-year-old man died after breaking his neck when he jumped into a shallow canal just when the final whistle blew to signal the end of the match.
And a man in his thirties died after crashing into a tree while celebrating shortly after the game in the small town of Saint-Felix in Northern France.