Swiss police have detained seven individuals following a riot that erupted in downtown Lausanne on Saturday evening. This incident took place amidst ongoing mass unrest in neighboring France. Over a hundred young people gathered in the city center, causing damage to shop windows, a door, and a sign, according to a press release from the Lausanne police. To address the situation, around fifty officers were deployed, but the rioters responded by throwing stones and at least one Molotov cocktail. Fortunately, there have been no reported injuries.
In France, authorities have claimed that the wave of violence appeared to be declining on the fifth night of rioting. The interior ministry reported on Sunday morning that 719 people had been detained overnight. However, in the commune of L’Hay-les-Roses, located south of Paris, rioters set fire to the car of the local mayor and rammed their own vehicle into his house. Although the mayor was not at home during the attack, his wife and two children were forced to flee the property. The woman sustained unspecified injuries and is currently receiving treatment at a hospital.
An investigation into attempted murder has been launched by the local public prosecutor’s office in connection with the assault. Additionally, unverified footage circulating on social media shows rioters with what appear to be military-grade firearms.
French President Emmanuel Macron has postponed a planned visit to Germany due to the ongoing unrest. In response, several European countries, including the United Kingdom, have issued travel advisories advising their citizens to avoid traveling to areas affected by the violence.
The riots initially began on Tuesday night in the Paris suburb of Nanterre after a police officer fatally shot 17-year-old pizza delivery driver, Nahel M., during a traffic stop. While the officer responsible for the shooting was swiftly arrested and charged by local prosecutors, the protests have continued to spread across the country and have become increasingly violent.
The situation remains tense in both France and Switzerland as authorities work to address the unrest and maintain public safety. The involvement of social media in spreading information and footage of the riots highlights the challenges faced by law enforcement in addressing and containing such incidents. The international community watches closely as countries grapple with the complex issues at the heart of these disturbances.