French police shut down party defying COVID rules

Several hundred police shut down an illegal rave in northwestern France on Saturday (January 2).

It had been underway since New Year's Eve, defying a curfew and restrictions on mass gatherings, according to officials.

Around 2,500 revelers from across the country attended the party in a disused warehouse in Lieuron, near Rennes.

Some clashed with police soon after the party kicked off on Thursday evening...

leading the force to wait for reinforcements to be deployed before moving in to end the rave, according to the head of the local prefecture, Emmanuel Berthier.

Those attending the party threw bottles and rocks at police, and several officers suffered minor injuries.

A police car also caught fire and three others were damaged.

Berthier added that about 800 party-goers were sanctioned for attending an illegal party, breaking curfew, and not wearing masks.

The rest were mostly issued notices for using illegal drugs.

There were also at least five arrests and sound and lighting equipment was seized.

Local prosecutors have opened a probe into the illegal organization of a musical event and violence against persons of authority, the prefecture said.

Health authorities have urged party-goers to self-isolate for seven days.