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Several hurt as French police break up mass rave

Several hurt as French police break up mass rave

Participants take part in an illegal rave party in a field in Redon, north-western France, on Jun 19, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Loic Venance)

RENNES, France: Five police officers were injured overnight in western France as they broke up a 1,500-strong illegal rave, authorities said on Saturday (Jun 19), with one partygoer losing a hand in the clashes.

Defying an 11pm coronavirus curfew, the group had attempted to set up the party at a horse racing track near Redon in Brittany.

There were "very violent clashes" when 400 police intervened, local prefect Emmanuel Berthier said.

Two of the injured police officers had to be taken to the hospital in Redon, Berthier said.

Other officials told AFP that the group threw "molotov cocktails, boules balls and pieces of breeze block".

French gendarmes stand on a road, near Redon, north-western France, as they intervene to prevent an illegal rave party, which began during the night of Jun 18 to Jun 19, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Loic Venance)

They added that one of the partygoers, a 22-year-old man, had lost a hand in the violence.

"There hasn't been any music since last night", but "people taking part in the illegal rave are still on the scene", the prefect's office told AFP early Saturday.

Local authorities had on Friday issued a legal order against the party, which came two days before the coronavirus curfew is set to be lifted as COVID-19 case numbers fall in France.

A partygoer wearing a t-shirt paying tribute to Steve Maia Canico who was killed in Nantes in 2019 during France's annual nationwide Fete de la Musique celebration, lies in the grass during an illegal rave party in Redon, north-western France, on Jun 19, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Loic Venance)

The rave had originally been set up in memory of a young man killed in nearby city Nantes two years ago during France's annual nationwide Fete de la Musique celebration.

Steve Maia Canico fell into the Loire river when police moved to break up a gathering.

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