French police employee kills four officers in Paris attack

A French police employee has killed four officers inside the French police headquarters in central Paris, a French police union official has said.

Union official Loic Travers confirmed that the attacker was a French police administrator and was shot dead at the scene, as reported by the Press Association.

Travers said that the attacker’s motives are unknown.

The French police headquarters are located in central Paris, on the île de la Cité, and is close to Notre Dame Cathedral. The area has been sealed off to the public, according to French media reports.

The attack reportedly took place shortly after 1 p.m. local time on Thursday afternoon. French President Emmanuel Macron French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner have since arrived at the scene.

Update: French PM renounces fuel tax rises

Latest: French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe has announced a suspension on fuel tax hikes, after protesters took to rioting in the French capital and surrounding areas.

Following crisis talks in Paris today, the PM renounced the policy put forward by President Emmanuel Macron. He stated that the fuel increase will be suspended for six months.

“No tax is worth putting the nation’s unity in danger.”

French motorists began protesting the tax spike in mid-November, when leader Macron announced the price rise was a necessity to combat climate change. However, the protests took a violent turn when political protesters known as “Yellow Vests” began violent clashes with authorities.

The riots, which saw over 130,000 people take to the streets in protest saw major damage to multiple homes, cafes and stores throughout Paris has seen more than 400 arrests since the clashes began. Over 133 were injured, including 23 members of the French security forces.

The action took a sinister turn Saturday afternoon when an 80 year old woman was killed after being struck with a gas canister thrown during the troubles. The unnamed woman, who was at home at the time of the incident, was struck in the head whilst closing her shutters. The woman was taken to hospital but died in the operating theatre. Two more people have also been killed.

Macron and Philippe’s approval rating have hit a new low as the violence spread across Paris and the hope is the suspension of the tax increase eases tensions between protesters and the government.

Marseille City Guide

France’s oldest city, Marseille, is a charming autumn getaway.

 

The bustling port city is France’s second largest commune, where the fall days are just warm enough for lunch by the sea and a stroll along the harbour by night.

 

At the heart of the city lies the Vieux Port, a colourful old harbour where ships docked for centuries. Now it thrives with fishing boats and impressive yachts. Every day of the year fisherman present their best catch of the day at the Marché au Poisson (fish market), where many local restaurants source their classic Bouillabaisse for many a tourist to enjoy for the evening.

 

The colourful harbour of Vieux Port. Source: Leila Wallace

A wide variety of bars, restaurants and cafes surround the bustling harbour. This is ideal for a sunny lunch on the terrace of La Caravelle, a traditional dinner of Coq au vin or a French martini or two.

 

The old town of Marseille, located in the quarter of La Panier, is an ideal place for an afternoon wander through beautiful squares and a browse through the art shops. 

 

A day trip by boat to the gorgeous national park of the Calanques is a essential. It’s only ten miles from the city and boasts the highest cliffs in France where a series of white limestone crevices rise above the beautiful, turquoise Mediterranean waters below.

The national park of the Calanques. Source: Leila Wallace

Marseille Cathedral is one of the most iconic buildings in the city. Structured in a Byzantine-Roman style, it is the national monument of France, featuring a grand interior lined with murals, mosaic and marble.

 

Marseille hosts a wide range of street markets, from Marché Avenue du Prado, which sells everything from local produce, fruit, fresh flowers, clothing and household items to Marché Capucins, one of the noisiest and busiest markets selling herbs spices and African food.

 

Finally, head up the Basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, a Romanesque-Byzantine church, topped with a golden statue of the Virgin Mary for outstanding views across the city, especially at sunset.

 

Filled with over 1500 years of history, and a remarkable variety of galleries, museums, boutique hotels, delicious French food and shopping, Marseille has everything the autumn traveller could ask for.

Munster clash off after terror attacks

Photo courtesy of Fabien Lavocat/Flickr

French national stadium, Stade De France. Photo courtesy of Fabien Lavocat/Flickr

Munster’s European Champions Cup match against French side Stade Francais has been postponed following the terror attacks which rocked Paris on Friday.

The series of tragic incidents around the French capital left 129 dead and Stade Francais said they had taken the decision to call off the game so as not to add to the workload of public and law enforcement employees in the city.

The club proposed a new date for the fixture, however there has been no decision yet and it will be announced in due course.

Stade’s statement added:

“In light of recent and tragic events, Stade Francais Paris does not wish to overburden or complicate the work of the government and security forces by organising a sporting event to bring together 15,000 people in Stade Jean-Bouin.”

Munster’s chief executive Garrett Fitzgerald said the Irish club “fully understood” the decision to postpone the game.

All of last weekend’s matches due to be held in France were called off, including Ulster’s trip to Oyonnax.

 

Alli shines as England see off France

Previous meetings between the two countries have always been entertaining. Photo courtesy of nemone/Flickr

Previous meetings between the two countries have always been entertaining. Photo courtesy of nemone/Flickr

England saw off France at Wembley on Tuesday on a night when football took a back seat.

Dele Alli netted a fine opener on his first England start before captain Wayne Rooney added a second after half time.

In the days leading up to the game there had been doubts as to whether it would even go ahead in the wake of the terrorist attacks which ravaged Paris on Friday evening.

However, it was agreed that the match should go ahead as planned and what followed was an incredible display of solidarity from more than 70,000 fans inside England’s national stadium.

Both sets of fans rose to sing the French national anthem, with England fans displaying their opponents’ flag in a stunning display, before the players stood together for a perfectly observed minutes’ silence.

When the game itself got underway, it was hotly contested and Crystal Palace’s Yohan Cabaye went close to opening the scoring for the visitors with a shot which shaved Joe Hart’s crossbar.

But England took the lead shortly before half time when Alli, making his first start for his country, let fly with a wonderful shot from distance into the top corner which gave goalkeeper and Tottenham Hotspur team-mate Hugo Lloris no chance.

And a few minutes after the interval the game was over as a contest when a fantastic move started by the impressive Alli saw Rooney volley home from Raheem Sterling’s cross.

Alli was substituted to a standing ovation two minutes before full time and the 19-year-old will be delighted with his man-of-the-match performance on his full debut for the Three Lions.

 

Police make fresh raids in Paris

Jordi Boixareu

Photo courtesy of Jordi Boixareu/Flickr.

Armed police have raided an apartment in the Parisian suburb of Saint Denis, located in the north west of the city. The raids, following Friday’s fatal attacks which claimed the lives of 129 people, targeted suspected terrorists linked to the shootings.

Police are said to have shot dead two of the suspects during these raids, whilst a woman in the flat is believed to have blown herself up with a suicide belt, according to prosecutors.

The operation is thought to have been targeting Abdelhamid  Abaaoud, the man believed to be behind Friday’s attacks, which killed 129 people.

EN4 News spoke to students based in the French capital, who described the atmosphere as “shell shocked”, leaving residents “tense and jumpy.”

“People set off fireworks at Place de la République in tribute to those who died and everyone fled in panic thinking it was another bomb. It’s odd trying to get on with daily life when it happened so close to home, but I get the sense people are just trying to return to normality despite the fear that something bad could happen at any time.”

Roads have been blocked off surrounding Saint Denis, and truckloads of soldiers are said to have joined the armed Police.

French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve has praised the bravery of the officers who took part.

 

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