President Emmanuel Macron has postponed a state visit to Germany due to the ongoing protests and riots across France.
More than 1,300 people have been arrested after a fourth night of violent protests throughout the country following the death of 17-year-old boy Nahel Merzouk, who was shot by police during a traffic stop in a Paris suburb on Tuesday.
People have taken to the streets on four consecutive nights to protest, setting cars alight, throwing stones and fireworks, and ransacking shops.
A funeral for the teenager began on Saturday, with family and friends viewing the open coffin before it will be taken to a mosque for a ceremony and later burial.
The cancellation is a clear sign of the significance of France’s unrest given the importance of its relationship with Germany.
Mr Macron spoke with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier to brief him on the situation, a spokesperson for the German president said.
“President Macron has asked that the planned state visit to Germany will be postponed,” the spokesperson added.
Despite Mr Macron’s appeal to parents to keep their children at home, street clashes between young protesters and police raged on, with authorities saying around 2,500 fires have been set and stores were ransacked.
But as the number of arrests increased the government suggested the violence was beginning to subside due to tougher security measures.
Since the unrest began on Tuesday night more than 2,400 people have been arrested – more than half of those in the fourth night of violence.
However, the damage has been widespread from Paris to Marseille and Lyon, and even further away in the French overseas territories, where a 54-year-old died after being hit by a stray bullet in French Guiana.
France’s national football team – including international star Kylian Mbappe, an idol to many young people in the disadvantaged neighbourhoods where the anger is rooted – pleaded for an end to the violence.
“Many of us are from working-class neighbourhoods, we too share this feeling of pain and sadness” over the killing of Nahel, the players said in a statement.
“Violence resolves nothing. There are other peaceful and constructive ways to express yourself.”
They said it is time for “mourning, dialogue and reconstruction” instead.