EVRY, FRANCE (AFP) - Six French youths were charged on Thursday (Feb 25) over the murder of a 14-year-old schoolgirl during a fight between youth gangs in the southern Paris suburbs, which have been plagued by teen violence.
A 16-year-old boy has admitted stabbing the girl to death during a fight outside a school in the town of Saint-Cheron, 50 kilometres south of Paris. He was charged with murder of a minor, aggravated violence and being part of a group that planned violence.
Five others were charged with aggravated violence, being part of a group that planned violence and failure to assist a minor in danger.
The government has sounded the alarm over a surge in youth gang violence in the Paris suburbs.
A day after the girl was stabbed in the stomach during the brawl involving a dozen youths, a 14-year-old boy was stabbed to death and a 13-year-old was seriously injured in a mass fight in the town of Boussy-Saint-Antoine, 45 kilometres away in the east.
The two incidents do not appear to be linked.
The deaths come after an outcry last month over a video of a 15-year-old in southern Paris suffering a vicious gang beating that left him in a coma.
Several such incidents in the past years in France have shone a light on the growing violence of youth gangs, which are drawing in children as young as 12.
The violence peaked in 2016, when nine youngsters were killed in fights.
But the southern Paris suburbs have suffered a flare-up in the past year, prompting the deployment of police reinforcements.