French police on Friday fired teargas amid clashes with agitated protesters exterior a Kurdish group heart within the coronary heart of Paris, the place a gunman earlier killed three individuals and injured 4 others in an assault with attainable racist underpinnings.
All three individuals killed inside and close to the Kurdish Cultural Heart Ahmet-Kaya on Rue d’Enghien have been Kurds, the middle’s lawyer confirmed to CNN.
The suspected attacker, a 69-year-old French man with a protracted legal file, has been arrested.
He was not a part of any far-right teams monitored by the police, French Inside Minister Gerald Darmanin informed journalists on the scene. “He (the suspect) clearly wished to take it out on foreigners,” Darmanin mentioned.
Clashes with dozens of protesters, principally from the Kurdish diaspora, broke out throughout Darmanin’s go to to the location of the assault on Friday.
Whereas the taking pictures has not been designated a terrorist assault, Paris Prosecutor Laure Beccuau mentioned earlier on Friday that investigators will not be ruling out attainable “racist motivations” behind the taking pictures.
“In relation to racist motivations, in fact these parts are a part of the investigation that was simply launched,” Beccuau mentioned.
French President Emmanuel Macron deplored the “heinous assault” the place “the Kurds of France have been the goal,” in a Twitter submit on Thursday.
“My ideas to the victims, to the people who find themselves preventing to stay, to their households and family members. My gratitude to our legislation enforcement forces for his or her braveness and tranquility,” Macron mentioned.
Police in Paris and throughout France have been ordered to guard Kurdish websites and Turkish diplomatic establishments following the assault, in line with Darmanin.
He has additionally requested the French president and prime minister to permit Kurdish individuals, who wish to maintain demonstrations, to take action.
The taking pictures suspect was launched from detention lower than two weeks in the past as a courtroom remains to be investigating his earlier involvement in violence with a “racist nature,” the Paris prosecutor’s workplace mentioned in a press release.
He was convicted twice, in 2017 and 2022, for committing gun violence. An investigation was additionally launched by a Paris courtroom in 2021 for violence “with a racist nature,” in line with the assertion.
The final incident led to his getting put below pre-trial detention whereas the courtroom conducts an investigation.
“At this stage, there isn’t a proof that this man is affiliated with any extremist ideological motion,” the assertion mentioned.
Following the incident, crowds gathered close to the middle, the place individuals of Kurdish descent have been heard chanting the Kurdish phrase “Şehid Namirin,” which implies: Those that are misplaced are by no means actually misplaced however with us, in line with CNN’s staff on the bottom.
Some individuals have been additionally heard chanting “Assassin Erdogan,” in a reference to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s sturdy stance towards Kurdish nationalism, and his insurance policies in the direction of Kurdish far-left militant and political teams based mostly in Turkey and Iraq.
Within the aftermath of the assault, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed his “deepest sympathies” to Kurdish individuals in France in a submit on Twitter. “My ideas are with the members of the Kurdish group and other people of France on this unhappy day,” Blinken added.
In 2013, three Kurdish political activists have been killed in central Paris, together with the founding member of the Kurdish Staff’ Celebration. All three girls have been shot within the head within the apparent assassination.