France was on riot alert yesterday after hundreds of Muslim youths went on the rampage in Grenoble.The 27-year-old dead youth fired on police before he was terminated.
Shots were fired at police and dozens of shops and cars were set on fire in the Alpine town.
Trams and buses were also held up by gangs brandishing baseball bats and bars, and a service station was looted.
The violence followed the fatal shooting of Karim Boudouda, a 27-year-old man involved in an attempted robbery at the Uriage-les-Bains casino, near Grenoble.
Locals accused armed officers of overreacting by gunning down Boudouda, allegedly as he tried to give himself up.
A Grenoble police spokesman said: ‘There has been a very fierce reaction. As mourners gathered in a park to hear Muslim prayers for the dead man late on Friday night, trouble broke out. By Saturday morning tear gas was being used on the youths.
'At about 2.30am a handgun was used to fire shots at the police. A youth was arrested, which seemed to make matters worse. The trouble went on until morning.'
The incident started after a memorial service for Karim Boudouda who was killed 24 hours earlier during exchanges of gunfire with police. He was allegedly trying to hold up the Uriage-Les-Bains casino, near Grenoble.
Boudouda’s alleged accomplice escaped during the shootout and police found between 20,000 and 40,000 euros in the back of the getaway car.
The police acted in a legitimate way, according to prosecutor Jean Philippe. They fired in self-defense after being fired on at least three times, he said.