Algeria expresses 'shock and horror' over France teenager's 'killing by police' as protests continue

Algeria expresses 'shock and horror' over France teenager's 'killing by police' as protests continue
Algeria's foreign ministry said it is monitoring developments in France, where a 17-year-old French-Algerian teenager's death in police custody has triggered riots.
2 min read
30 June, 2023
Nahel was shot at point-blank range during a traffic stop [Getty]

Algeria's foreign ministry on Thursday expressed "shock and horror" over the killing of a French-Algerian teenager, saying it is monitoring developments "with great attention".

Angry protests have erupted across France over the death of 17-year-old Nihal, a rugby league player, who was reportedly shot at point blank range by a police officer at a traffic stop near Paris. Nihal crashed his car shortly after with the incident caught on camera.

Many see the killing as a symptom of endemic and institutionalised racism in France against minorities, including French citizens of North African origin.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the national community abroad express their sincere condolences to the family of the deceased, and assure them that their grief is shared widely in Algeria," the Algeria Press Service reported.

The statement added that Algeria is "confident that the French government will carry out its full duty to ensure the security and tranquility that our citizens should enjoy in their host country".

Tensions reignited

The teenager's death has revived longstanding grievances about policing and racial profiling in France's low-income and multiethnic suburbs, sparking days of unrest.

"I don't blame the police, I blame one person: the one who took the life of my son," Nahel's mother Mounia told the France 5 channel.

She said the 38-year-old officer responsible, who was detained and charged with voluntary manslaughter on Thursday, "saw an Arab face, a little kid, and wanted to take his life".

French authorities deployed around 40,000 police and gendarmes - along with elite Raid and GIGN units - overnight, leading to the arrests of at least 421 people by 3:00 am (1am GMT) on Friday.

Curfews were also issued in municipalities around Paris and bans on public gatherings instated in Lille and Tourcoing in the country's north.