Protesters have clashed with police as they call for justice for the killing of three people in a Kurdish neighborhood in Paris.
Several hundred representatives of the Kurdish community in France gathered on the Place de la République on Saturday to demand answers about the killings, which they say have scared the community.
The videos show some of the protesters holding flags and others throwing objects at the police, who used tear gas to disperse the crowd.
People were killed on Friday when a gunman opened fire on a Kurdish cultural center, the Ahmet-Kaya Center, on Rue d’Enghien in the 10th arrondissement. A hair salon and a restaurant on the street were also shot at. Three people were wounded, one in a serious condition.
Police have arrested a 69-year-old man who authorities said was recently released from custody while awaiting trial for a saber attack on a refugee camp in Paris a year ago.
The Kurdish Democratic Council in France (CDK-F) posted a call on its website and social media for people to gather at Republic Square, a traditional demonstration site in the capital, from noon.
A few hours earlier, there was a clash between the police and the people who had gathered at the scene of the attack.
Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau said the investigation would look into possible racist motives, but Kurdish representatives said the incident should be considered a terrorist attack.
Prosecutors announced that the suspect’s detention was extended by 24 hours and that the scope of the investigation – for murder and attempted murder – was formally expanded to include a possible motive of racism.
“Adding this element [to the potential charges] however, it does not affect the maximum sentence for the alleged crimes, which remains life imprisonment”, the prosecution announced.
Berivan Firat, a spokesman for the CDK-F, told French news channel BFM TV: “We know that we are threatened, Kurds in general, Kurdish activists and militants.” France owes us protection.”
David Andic, a lawyer representing the CDK-F, said Friday’s killings had left the Kurdish community in fear as it prepared to mark the 10th anniversary of the killing of three Kurdish women in Paris in January 2013.
“The Kurdish community is afraid,” Andic said. “It was already traumatized by the triple murder.” [in 2013]. Answers, support and consideration are needed.”
The Paris police chief was due to meet members of the Kurdish community before Saturday’s protest.