Paris police reported on Friday a fire near the Gare de Lyon train station, which was evacuated partially amid violent protests against a Congolese singer which is due to give a concert nearby.
The area should be avoided and the emergency services should be allowed to intervene, the police tweeted, adding that the fire is now under control and was “being extinguished.”
We tried to stop protesters who set alight garbage bins and scooters, with a thick, black smoke cloud over Paris city centre, the Police said.
Police on Twitter revealed ” violence by people who have violated the ban on protesting on the sidelines of a concert is unacceptable”.
It posted a video of what it said was “scandalous behaviour” by protesters showing a large roadworks barriers to stop firefighters from getting to the blaze.
The SCNF train service operator said the underground section of the Gare de Lyon was evacuated as a preventive measure. Train traffic was badly disrupted.
Outside the station, AFP witnessed a dozen firetrucks at work and Police had banned any protests around the AccorHotels Arena in Paris, not far from the station, where Congolese singer Fally Ipupa was to give a concert.
Congolese expats always speak out against artists from home who perform in France or Belgium, accusing them of being close to former DR Congo president Joseph Kabila and his successor Felix Tshisekedi.
Ipupa backers and Congolese opposition faced off, exchanging insults outside the arena, 23 arrests were made.