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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Travel Security Alerts Issued as France Hit by Riots, Buses and Trams Set Alight

The French Interior Ministry has ordered the shutdown of all bus and tram services nationwide following a spate of attacks that saw buses and trams set on fire.

The Department of State has issued a security alert as more than 1300 arrests have been made in France in relation to anti-police protests.

The protests are in response to the fatal shooting of a driver by a police officer in Nanterre, approximately seven miles to the west of the center of Paris. The protests have been particularly prolific in Nanterre but have also been recorded in Marseilles, Roubaix and other parts of the country.

Police have said that areas popular with tourists, such as the Eiffel Tower, have been largely unaffected, however transportation to and from such places – and indeed around the whole country – has been severely impacted. The French Interior Ministry has for example ordered the shutdown of all bus and tram services nationwide from 21:00 hrs following a spate of attacks that saw buses and trams set on fire. The Paris Metro and Eurostar train services are currently unaffected but travelers are urged to check if their service is running. In addition, some cities are imposing curfews.

The U.S. Department of State expects demonstrations, along with spontaneous protests, to continue and warns that they may turn violent. “U.S. citizens should avoid mass gatherings and areas of significant police activity as they can turn violent and result in clashes,” the security alert states, adding that public transportation is being affected.

Other countries have also issued security alerts regarding travel to and around France. In addition to caution surrounding the anti-police protests, the U.K. Foreign Office warned that while French authorities have banned a rally by groups opposed to the government in Iran planned for 1 July in Paris, due to concerns about security risks; connected events are reported to still be going ahead. A demonstration by the same groups in Paris in June 2018 was the target of an attempted bomb attack.

Kylie Bielby
Kylie Bielby
Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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