After violent riots, France bans fireworks sales ahead of Bastille Day

HY News 11 July, 2023 01:06 pm IST

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France has banned the sale of fireworks ahead of Bastille Day celebrations on Friday amid fears of further violence. The sale, possession and transport of fireworks was banned by the government with immediate effect on Sunday.

Bastille Day, which is France's national day, is celebrated annually on July 14 with spectacular firework displays organized countrywide.

“In order to prevent the risk of serious disturbances to public order during the July 14 festivities, the sale, possession, transport, and use of pyrotechnical articles and fireworks is banned until July 15 inclusively,” said a government decree published in the Official Journal on Sunday.

However, the ban does not extend to professionals or municipalities that are organising traditional fireworks for the Bastille Day celebrations, it added. The ban will remain in place until Saturday 15 July, the day after the 14 July celebrations.

The move comes after six nights of rioting, sparked by the fatal police shooting of Nahel Merzouk, 17, who was killed during a traffic stop in the Paris suburb of Nanterre.

"In order to prevent the risk of serious disturbances to public order during the 14 July festivities, the sale, carrying, transport and use of pyrotechnic articles and fireworks will be prohibited on national territory until 15 July inclusively," the government decree said.

Fireworks were widely used by protesters, who threw them at police, and more than 6,000 vehicles and 12,400 bins were set ablaze.

It is reported that more than 3,000 people, mostly teenagers, were arrested during the riots and about 2,500 buildings were damaged, according to interior minister Gerald Darmanin.

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