#BreakingNews Riots in France with Over 1000 Arrested and a Priest is Attacked, Father Francis Palle

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45,000 police and gendarmes have been deployed across France over the last few days following the violent public unrest, the government said. There have been over 1,000 arrests with the average age of rioters being 17 years old.  So far, more than 2,000 cars were burned, and more than 700 businesses were damaged (Updated numbers). The reason for the violence was the death of a racialized young teen by police. On 27 June 2023, Nahel Merzouk, a 17-year-old French teenager of Algerian descent, was shot and killed by a police officer after a car chase and during a traffic stop in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris, France. Authorities arrested the police officer who shot Nahel on suspicion of "voluntary homicide by a person in authority".

The widespread protests and riots attacked town halls, schools, and police stations, as well as other buildings such as supermarkets, were attacked, as well as cars and trash bins set on fire. According to the Interior Ministry, over 1,350 vehicles have been set on fire, and over 1,300 arrests were made in connection with the riots.

 A Catholic priest in France,  named Father Francis Palle,  79 years old,  was brutally attacked by rioters.  He is a member of the congregation of Saint Vincent de Paul in Saint-√Čtienne.  The event took place on Friday,  June 30th,  leaving Father Palle seriously injured and unconscious. 

According to eyewitnesses,  a group of rioters suddenly attacked Father Palle,  surrounding and targeting him for no apparent reason.  They hit him with extreme force,  causing him to fall violently to the ground.  These individuals continued to beat him when he was already on the ground,  leaving the priest in critical condition. 

In addition to this brutal attack,  the attackers also stole Father Palle's mobile phone and wallet. 

Local authorities were quickly alerted and dispatched an emergency team to the scene.  Father Palle was immediately taken to the nearest hospital,  where he is currently receiving intensive care for his serious injuries.  This brutal attack sparked outrage and dismay in France.  Members of the Congregation of Saint Vincent de Paul,  as well as many residents,  condemned this act of inexcusable violence and expressed their support and prayers for Father Palle's speedy recovery. 

Sources: https://www.cnn.com/2023/07/01/world/france-protests-arrests-hundreds-intl-hnk/index.html

https://www.diocese-saintetienne.fr/actualites/a-propos-de-lagression-du-pere-francis-palle

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