A video is making the rounds on the internet showing a group of teens in Paris setting up a makeshift roadblock, stopping a bus, and setting it ablaze with Molotov cocktails. The attack occurred in the Saint-Denis district around 1 AM last Thursday. The audio clearly records them shouting, “Allahu Akhbar” (Arabic for God is great). The driver and approximately fifteen passengers fled the vehicle after being order out by the attackers. No one was injured in the incident but the bus was completely destroyed in the fire.
“This act of premeditated vandalism, the consequences of which have been tragic, follows an attempted homicide on a worker by a Molotov cocktail on July 22 and buildings being looted,” Saint-Denis mayor Didier Paillard told Le Parisien.
Police have launched investigation into the incident, claiming the motives behind the attack remain unknown. A local police spokesman said to The Mirror that the protest was ‘linked to protests against the police that have been going on for a number of days.’ The protests are being initiated by an internet campaign organized using the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag. Police have stressed there is no evidence the incident in St Denis was linked to Islam or terrorism.
The protests are over the death of Adama Traore, who died while in police custody in the commuter town of Beaumont-sur-Oise, 20 miles north of Paris, on July 19th.
The Saint Denis neighborhood of Paris has a high Muslim immigrant population.