France vows to end violence in Dijon after fourth night of unrest

Police say alleged assault on Chechen boy may have sparked reprisals in Grésilles area

The French government has vowed to bring an end to violence in the usually placid eastern city of Dijon after it was hit by a fourth night of unrest allegedly linked to score-settling by members of the Chechen community.

According to police, the incidents appear to have been sparked by an alleged assault this month on a 16-year-old Chechen boy, prompting reprisal raids.

Some reports suggested Chechens had traveled to Dijon from all over France as well as neighbouring Belgium and Germany.

The unrest has focused on the low-income district of Grésilles, which has a large north African population.

On Monday evening, dozens of hooded men carrying arms and crowbars had gathered in Grésilles, shooting in the air, destroying video surveillance cameras and setting fire to bins and vehicles, police said.

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Riot police took 90 minutes to put an end to the violence, leaving the area calm overnight. Four people were detained.

The deputy interior minister, Laurent Nuñez, traveled to Dijon, vowing an “extremely strong response”, with more than 150 police and paramilitary gendarmes mobilized to halt any unrest on Tuesday evening.

Read more: The Guardian