Monday , March 1 2021

Paris Gare de Lyon: Fire at station amid Congo concert protest – BBC News, BBC News

        

            

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Media caption
Footage showed large plumes of smoke rising above the station

A large fire has broken out at a major Paris train station, with police reporting “unacceptable incidents” ahead of a nearby concert.

The Gare de Lyon station was evacuated, with footage showing cars and scooters ablaze.

Earlier, political opponents of the DR Congo government had called for musician Fally Ipupa’s performance at the nearby Bercy venue to be disrupted.

Police had banned protests, citing a “particularly tense political context.”

                                                                                                                       

A large plume of smoke was visible above the station and smoke was also seen inside the Gare de Lyon metro and suburban rail stations.

Some footage appeared to show firefighters being prevented from tackling the blaze.

Police said it was “scandalous behavior” and demanded firefighters be allowed to operate.

                                                                                                                       

Police later said (people had been detained and 728 People had been fined for participating in a banned protest.

The authorities had earlier warned that Fally Ipupa’s concert was taking place in a “particularly tense political context between supporters and opponents “of the DR Congo government.

There had been calls on social media for people to demonstrate outside the event and” clash with concertgoers “, a police notice said.

Opponents of the concert accuse Fally Ipupa of being too close to the country president, Felix Tshisekedi, who took power a year ago.

Congolese media said members of the Congolese diaspora had come from other European cities, including London, Brussels and Vienna, to try to disrupt the concert.

The singer, who reportedly has a large following in France and has collaborated with several French rapper s, was forced to cancel an earlier concert in France in , France’s RTL reported.

                                                                                                       Image copyright                   Reuters                                                    


                                                                                                       Image copyright                   Reuters                                                    



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