French police clash with young people at curfew-breaking rave

19 June 2021, 15:04

France Party Violence
France Party Violence. Picture: PA

A 22-year-old man lost his hand and several others were injured near the town of Redon in Brittany.

A 22-year-old man lost his hand and several others were injured during clashes as police tried to break up an unauthorised rave in western France.

The tensions erupted in a field near the Brittany town of Redon on Friday night, just two days before France lifts an overnight curfew that has been in place for more than eight months — and has prompted growing frustration among young people.

Police repeatedly fired tear gas and charged clusters of violent partygoers who hurled metal balls, petrol bombs and other projectiles at security forces, local prefect Emmanuel Berthier said.

Local authorities estimated about 1,500 people took part.

France Party Violence
Police repeatedly fired tear gas and charged clusters of violent party-goers (AP)

Mr Berthier accused people of “extreme” and “inexcusable” violence.

It took police more than seven hours to disperse the crowd, and authorities were still evacuating people from the field on Saturday morning, Mr Berthier told reporters.

He said an investigation is under way into the overnight events, including how the 22-year-old lost his hand.

Regional gendarme chief Pierre Sauvegrain told France-Info radio that the man was believed to have picked up an object that exploded, without elaborating.

France party violence
Police tried to break up the unauthorised rave party near Redon, Brittany (AP)

An underground New Year’s Eve rave party in the same area drew at least 2,500 people and led to multiple arrests.

France has been gradually lifting restrictions in recent weeks as infections wane and vaccinations rise. France’s curfew, among the strictest and longest in Europe, is set to expire on Sunday.

In Germany, about 4,000 people came together at a park in Hamburg on Friday, drinking and celebrating despite pandemic rules banning such big groups.

Police tried appealing to people several times to go home but when their calls were ignored officers decided to clear the park, the German news agency dpa said.

Police were attacked with bottles and two officers were slightly injured, but most people had left by 1am, police said.

By Press Association