Paris student dead after skinhead attack

  • 6 June 2013
  • From the section Europe
Flowers and text reading "Fascists get out of our lives" near the spot where Clement Meric was killed
The attack on Clement Meric took place in a busy shopping area; the text reads "Fascists out of our lives".

A French left-wing activist has died after an attack blamed on skinheads in central Paris.

Clement Meric, an 18-year-old student, was with friends when he was "hit extremely violently" by several men during a fight, officials say.

Several people with links to the far-right have been arrested, according to French media.

French President Francois Hollande said he condemned Wednesday night's attack "in the strongest terms".

Mr Meric - a student at Sciences Po, a leading undergraduate school in Paris - was in a busy shopping district near St Lazare train station when three men described as skinheads and a woman confronted his group.

He was struck by a knuckle-duster and his head hit the ground as he fell, police say.

The teenager was placed on life support but was declared brain dead and died on Thursday.

Left-wing parties have called for a demonstration in Paris later on Thursday.

They have blamed the attack on a fringe far-right group, the Revolutionary Nationalist Youths. However it denied any involvement.

The main far-right party, the National Front, described the incident as "appalling".

Correspondents say it has re-ignited a public debate over the role of small right-wing groups in recent violent protests against gay marriage in France.

A friend of Mr Meric's, Claire Cosquer, told reporters that his death was murder and had happened in the context of "a very worrying rise of radical far-right movements".

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