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More than a dozen vehicles were set on fire Tuesday evening in Alençon, France, and police and firefighters were the target of fire from incendiary devices and other projectiles, after the arrest of a 16-year-old teenager. years suspected of selling drugs.

A group of about twenty young people took to the streets of the town of Alençon in Normandy, torching cars and attacking rescue personnel with projectiles and fireworks.

“We deplore this night of urban violence in Perseigne, in Alençon, during which there were ten vehicles set on fire”, Françoise Tahéri, prefect of the Orne district, told BFMTV. Tahéri added that the police intervened quickly to stabilize the situation and were reinforced by gendarmes.

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Firefighters and police intervened around midnight, after being warned that several private vehicles had been set on fire. When they arrived on the scene, they came under fire from about twenty young people positioned in different places in the neighborhood, according to BFMTV. Thirteen gendarmes were sent as reinforcements, and the clashes ended around 3:30 am.

Tahéri said she was delighted that no one was injured and praised the intervention of the police. City Major Joaquim Pueyo described the events as “extremely serious. “ In images shared online, cars can be seen passing under the attack of mortars.

Images posted to social media on Wednesday morning show the extent of the devastation, with many burnt cars being transported for scrapping.

The unrest was apparently sparked by the arrest of a 16-year-old boy who was allegedly caught selling drugs to a local woman. At a press conference on Wednesday, Tahéri said authorities believed the violence was linked to the arrest on Tuesday of a suspected drug trafficker.

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