France in chaos and 14-year-old boy dead after football fans riot

A 14-year-old boy has been killed after being run down in Rue de la Mosson, near the football stadium in Montpellier, France. This comes as football fans have clashed in the cities of Paris, Nice, Lyon and Montpellier after France beat Morocco 2-0 in the World Cup semi-final.

The young boy seems to have been part of a group which may have been Moroccan football supporters, who surrounded a car with a French flag on it.

The group attempted to steal the flag, which caused the driver to panic and perform a U-turn, which struck the teenage boy.

French authorities have confirmed the teenager’s death and will launch an urgent investigation into the matter.

A spokesperson for the Hérault Government said: “A young boy was violently hit on Wednesday evening in Montpellier by a car following the semi-final match of the World Cup.

“He was transferred to hospital in an absolute emergency. He died shortly after receiving medical care.”

Around 10,000 police have been dispatched due to riots breaking out in both France and Belgium after Morocco crashed out of the World Cup.

It is estimated around 5,000 police, including at least 2,200 police in riot gear have been stationed in Paris alone, with police vans and barricades at the Champs-Elysees, a famous avenue in France.

Gerald Darmanin, the French Interior Minister, said: “Our Moroccan friends, just like the French supporters, are welcome to organize a party and our job is not to stop them from partying… but this will have to be done under good security conditions.”

In the southern cities of Nice and Montpellier, there has been fighting in the streets, footage of flares being launched and rubbish bins being set on fire.

The Sun newspaper reported that similar riots had taken place in Lyon, where riot police had thrown fireworks at them.

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Video footage shared by the French newspaper Midi Libre Montpellier showed both French and Moroccan football fans fighting at the Place de la Comédie in Montpellier.

The footage showed groups of men screaming as they threw fireworks and flares, and tear gas was dispatched by the police.

However, calm seems to have been restored in the area eventually, and football fans were seen in the area celebrating France’s win peacefully.

Last Saturday, clashes between 20,000 football fans and riot police happened in Paris after the Morocco and Portugal quarter-final, which saw Morocco secure a 2-0 victory.

A police spokesman confirmed at the time that steps had been set on fire, bricks had been thrown at cars and the police acted when one person suffered facial injuries.

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Before the game on Wednesday, checkpoints had been installed by police forces to check football fans for flares and fireworks.

Shopkeepers in Paris had also prepared their stores as they worried about damage.

Jeanne d’Hauteserre, a local French mayor responsible for the 8th Parisian district, said he had been worried about violence before the World Cup football match had taken place.

He said to French CNews: “When you want to celebrate victory, you don’t come with mortars. But these people are really only coming to smash with iron bars.

“For Wednesday, everyone is afraid of a war, a guerrilla war, a civil war, and we do not want the Champs-Elysees to be transformed into a battlefield.”



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