Steve Maia Caniço rally: French police clashes erupt in Nantes

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Media captionProtesters build barricades amid clashes with police

Police in western France have fired tear gas at protesters after a vigil for a man who drowned in the River Loire descended into violence.

Clashes erupted during a rally over the death of Steve Maia Caniço, who went missing at a music festival in June.

Mr Caniço was among around 14 revellers who fell into the river in the city of Nantes when police raided the concert.

The 24-year-old’s body was found in the River Loire on Tuesday, 38 days after he disappeared.

His death has provoked public outcry, with police facing claims they used excessive force when breaking up the late-night techno event.

An inquiry into Mr Caniço’s death found no link between the raid and his disappearance.

On Saturday, a peaceful tribute to Mr Caniço took place without incident, but a demonstration that followed escalated into skirmishes between police and protesters.

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AFP

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Demonstrators set ablaze a barricade at the rally

At least 30 people were arrested this morning on the fringes of the rally, according to French newspaper Ouest-France.

Several hundred people attended the march, which focused on alleged police brutality and cover-ups.

Some protesters, wearing bandanas and masks to cover their faces, erected barricades made of chairs and started bonfires, French TV footage shows.

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AFP

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Riot police speak to people during a gathering in Nantes over the death of Steve Maia Caniço

Ahead of the protest, authorities shut parts of the city over fears trouble-makers would stoke unrest.

Yellow-vest protesters, whose sometimes-violent rallies have dogged French President Emmanuel Macron’s government, had said they were joining the march on social media.

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