A restaurateur testifies to the clashes on the sidelines of the demonstration in support of the Kurds in Paris

Eleven people were arrested during clashes on the sidelines of the demonstration in Paris in tribute to the three killed Kurds the day before. Trash cans were set on fire and windows damaged.

“We were very scared.” Claude Raad manages a restaurant in Paris, near the Place de la République, where a demonstration took place on Saturday afternoon in tribute to the Kurds who were wounded and killed in a shooting on Friday rue d’Enghiens. If the demonstration started peacefully, tensions grew throughout the afternoon to finally give rise to urban violence.

A situation that forced Claude Raad to temporarily close the entrance to his restaurant with, inside, his employees and customers having lunch.

“We had to barricade ourselves inside because of the tear gas. It was scary, very violent, stones were thrown, people screamed (…) We lived through two hours of war”, she describes at the microphone on BFMTV.

And to add: “We were very scared because we had responsibilities to people stuck in the restaurant, we had elderly people and children.”

11 people arrested

At the end of these fights, 11 people were arrested “mainly for damage”, Paris police chief Laurent Nuñez announced on BFMTV. Thirty-one law enforcement officers were slightly injured and one protester was hit in the eyebrow, he added.

On the demolition side, “about fifteen windows were starred, not broken”. At least four cars were overturned, including at least one set on fire, and trash cans burned. Everything would have started from a “provocation” committed by the driver of a van, the police prefect commented without further details at this time.

Amber Lepoivre BFMTV journalist

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