Demonstrators protesting against the execution of five urban guerrillas in Spain rioted and bombed the select Champs Elysees district of Paris on Saturday (27 September).
Demonstrators protesting against the execution of five urban guerrillas in Spain rioted and bombed the select Champs Elysees district of Paris on Saturday (27 September). Many times they clashed with police and defied waves of tear gas in a vain bid to reach the Spanish Embassy.
The rioters up road surfaces and overturned cars, setting them alight. Traffic lighter were demolished and fire bombs thrown at property.
Time and again French police charged the demonstrators, in clashes that turned the centre of Paris into a battlefield in the worst rioting Paris has seen since the 1968 student protests.
The Champs Elysees echoed to the sound of thunder flashes, exploding petrol, riot gas gun blasts and the wail of police, fire and ambulance vehicles.
The rioters smashed the plate glass frontage of many fashionable shops, banks and department stores as the situation deteriorated into an orgy of indiscriminate destruction. Police said the also saw some rioters looting a bank and others sack a car sales room.
Estimates of how many joined in the rioting varied from a few hundred to several thousand. There were many injured -- including eight by-standers hurt by a bomb thrown at a garage.
Police said there were scattered arrests but they had no exact figures. A spokesman called the situation "fluid".
Police efforts to deal with the rioters were hampered by hundreds of tourists who turned out to watch the battle rage along the Champs Elysees. One astonished United States businessman declared: "You never get mugged in this place. But you sure do see a lot of revolutions."
There was no let up on Saturday 928 September) with the rioting continuing.