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Over 100 arrested across France after Snapchat call for police ‘purge’ goes viral

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By Sallyann Nicholls
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner   -   Copyright  REUTERS

French police have arrested over 100 people across the country after a snapchat post calling for the authorities to be “purged” went viral on Wednesday.

A sportswear store in Seine-Saint-Denis, a deprived area of Paris, was looted and officers were attacked with acid as they tried to apprehend young people who robbed a grocery store in in the capital.

In Lyon, hundreds of youths harassed passers-by and police in the city centre, smashed shop windows and set rubbish bins on fire.

Authorities linked the violence to messages circulating on social media, saying a young man calling for a “purge” of police was arrested earlier this week and bailed Tuesday pending a trial on November 28.

They added that his actions were likely inspired by Hollywood franchise The Purge, a film series based on a future dystopian America where all crimes are made legal once a year.

"Halloween must remain a celebration, the purge is not a joke, the purge is a threat," Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said Thursday.