Demonstrators ransacked a Muslim prayer hall and attempted to burn copies of the Koran on the French island of Corsica yesterday, following a night of violence that left two firefighters and a police officer injured, the France 24 website reports today (December 26, 2015).
Tensions had mounted in Ajaccio -- the capital of Corsica -- on Christmas Day after two firefighters and a police officer were wounded overnight in Jardins de L'Empereur, a low-income neighborhood of the city when they were "ambushed" by "several hooded youths," authorities said. (Ajaccio is the birthplace of the famous 19th century French emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte.)
Yesterday afternoon around 150 people had gathered in front of police headquarters in the island's capital in a show of support for the police and firefighters, officials said in a statement.
Nearby was a Muslim prayer room and a small group smashed the glass door and entered the place of worship, ransacking it and partially burning books, including copies of the Koran. "Fifty prayer books were thrown out on the street," said regional official Francois Lalanne.