Youths with gun, petrol bombs attack police near Paris

French police said on Thursday they had come under attack from youths wielding a handgun, flares and petrol bombs during clashes this week in the low-income housing estate of Tarterets in a suburb of Paris.

The latest outbreak of trouble in the deprived high-rise suburbs ("banlieus") that ring Paris came as President Emmanuel Macron's administration aims to show it can tackle violent crime and the threat of Islamist attacks as the 2022 election nears.

The police department for the area dealing with the suburb of Essonne where the clashes occurred said the attack took place late on Wednesday as a police car patrolled.

"One of the assailants was in possession of a handgun, while our agents also heard several explosions," the police department said on its Twitter account on Thursday.

A police trade union published on its Facebook page what it said was a video of the incident. The video shows a police car, with its door hanging off, retreating from a group of youths while shots and explosions can be heard in the background.

French media said the trouble first occurred after police moved into the housing estate following accusations that youths had been driving vehicles dangerously in the area.

Clashes between police and disaffected young people of often immigrant heritage flares periodically in French cities. Rights groups say accusations of brutal police treatment of residents of the banlieus that ring big cities remain largely unaddressed.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Mark Heinrich)


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