Macron condemns ‘unforgivable’ 1961 massacre of Algerians in Paris

 Macron condemns ‘unforgivable’ 1961 massacre of Algerians in Paris

French President Emmanuel Macron has called a bloody crackdown on Algerian protesters by police in Paris 60 years ago an “unforgivable crime”.

On 17 October 1961, French police turned on Algerian demonstrators. Some were shot, others were drowned.

The precise number of victims is not known, but some say several hundred could have lost their lives.

Mr Macron is the first French president to attend a memorial for those killed that day.

He joined a commemoration beside the bridge over the River Seine which was the starting point in 1961 for a march against a night curfew imposed only on Algerians.

Mr Macron told relatives of victims on the 60th anniversary of the bloodshed that “crimes” were committed under the command of the notorious Paris police chief Maurice Papon. Papon was revealed in the 1980s to have collaborated with occupying Nazi forces in World War Two in transferring Jews to Nazi death camps.

The 1961 march was repressed “brutally, violently and in blood”, Mr Macron’s office said in a statement. Some 12,000 Algerians were arrested, many were wounded and dozens killed, it added.