Riots outside Paris over Islamic face veil; police station attacked


Confrontations between police and local residents of the Paris suburb Argenteuil Wednesday after police stopped a woman wearing a full veil.


Frank Perry

Nearly two dozen cars have been burned and a police station attacked in the Paris suburbs over the last two nights in protest of the enforcement of France's ban on the Islamic veil.

The unrest Saturday night occurred in the western suburb of Elancourt with 50 perpetrators throwing gas bombs at police and firing weapons.

On Friday night, 250 people clashed with police in the town of Trappes, after police stopped a veiled woman the night before. The woman was fined for wearing the full veil. 

Full face veils were banned in France in 2011. The law does not ban headscarves but they are banned in public institutions under France's strict secular laws. Wearing crosses or other religious attire is also barred in public schools and buildings.

More from GlobalPost: Police check of veiled woman sparks clashes in Paris suburb

In Trappes on Friday, cars and garbage cans were torched and bus shelters were destroyed. Four police officers were also injured and six people arrested.

Police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Police said that they will step up patrols until calm returns to the area.

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls denounced the violence and urged calm. He said that the need for public order must be matched by respect for France's Muslims.

"There is no valid reason for the violence seen in Trappes," he told reporters in Marseille, a city not unfamiliar with rioting and unrest. "The law should be applied, and applies to everyone."