Clashes, road accidents mar World Cup celebrations in France

French riot police dispersing people away on Champs-Elysees avenue after French supporters celebrated the victory of France at the FIFA World Cup 2018 final match against Croatia in Paris, France, on July 15, 2018.
French riot police dispersing people away on Champs-Elysees avenue after French supporters celebrated the victory of France at the FIFA World Cup 2018 final match against Croatia in Paris, France, on July 15, 2018. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

PARIS (AFP) - Dozens of young people shattered windows at a popular store on the Champs Elysees avenue on Sunday (July 15) while hundreds of thousands of fans celebrated France's World Cup victory.

About 30 people, many wearing ski masks, broke into the Publicis Drugstore and later left with bottles of wine and champagne, some smiling and filming themselves with mobile phones.

Some also threw objects at police forces who responded with tear gas.

"That's not how you celebrate," a tearful bystander wearing a French team jersey said.

Elsewhere in France, the authorities said clashes erupted in the southern city of Lyon between police and about 100 young people who had climbed on top of a police vehicle at an open-air showing of the match in the city centre.

Police fired tear gas to disperse the youth, who responded by throwing objects and setting rubbish bins on fire.

A group of about 50 youth also tried to break through police barricades to reach the city centre.

In Frouard, a town outside the eastern city of Nancy, a three-year-old boy and two six-year-old girls were seriously injured after being struck by a motorcycle during the celebrations.

The authorities said the motorcyclist fled the scene.

In the south-east city of Annecy, police said a 50-year-old man died after breaking his neck when he jumped into a shallow canal just when the final whistle blew to signal the end of the match.

A man in his 30s died after crashing into a tree while celebrating shortly after the game in the small town of Saint-Felix in northern France.

Fans have poured into the streets across the country after France's second World Cup win, many waving flags and letting off smoke bombs.

About 4,000 police and security forces have been deployed across Paris during the World Cup festivities, and a vast security perimeter prohibiting vehicle access has been set up around the Champs Elysees avenue.

France remains on high alert following a string of terror attacks since 2015, which prompted the government to grant the police extended powers under tough new anti-terror laws enacted last year.