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France protests: Macron shelves Germany visit as slain teen laid to rest

Crowds protest during a memorial march for French teenager, Nahel M, who was killed by police on June 29 in Nanterre, Paris, France. (Photo by Getty Images)

France's President Emmanuel Macron has postponed a state visit to Germany in order to stay in Paris to deal with mass protests over the police killing of French Arab teenager, Nahel M, as the family members lay the deceased to rest.

Macron informed Berlin on Saturday he was postponing the state visit to manage the protests over the French police's brutality and systemic racism triggering rioting that has rocked the country for the last four nights.

Macron spoke by telephone with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier "and informed him of the situation in his country" and requested from the German side to postpone the visit which was scheduled to begin on Sunday, reports said.

The canceling of the trip is considered to be embarrassing for the French leader who had earlier this year canceled a state visit by Britain's King Charles III to France due to nationwide protests over his proposed pension reforms.

This week's nationwide mass protests alongside nighttime rioting across the country started on Tuesday after 17-year-old Nahel M was killed on June 29 by police at a traffic stop in Nanterre, the Paris suburb where he lived.

Over the past nights, rioters targeted shops and town halls in various locations nationwide, despite the interior ministry sending out 45,000 members of the police and also armored vehicles to quell the protests

“They killed a boy for nothing!” said Sami Benboudaoud, 20, who on Friday night was standing not far from a burning truck that blocked Pablo-Picasso’s main avenue. “For years, we’ve been saying that the police are mistreating us, killing us. But nobody is listening. Maybe with some riots, they’ll start listening.”

In the meantime, Nahel's family held a funeral procession and burial ceremony on Saturday for the killed teen at the local cemetery in Nanterre with a large crowd in attendance. Reports from the ceremony said the situation was tense during the mourning.

A separate commemoration ceremony was scheduled at the mosque in Nanterre and further funeral rites will then take place in the giant Mont Valerien cemetery in the area.

On Friday, Macron urged parents to keep teenagers at home and proposed restrictions on social media to quell rioting spreading across France.

Expressing his condolences and in a show of solidarity with the mourning family of the deceased, Kylian Mbappe, France's national football team captain, who hails from a minority community in France, said he was "shocked by the brutal death of young Nahel."

However, he called on rioters to end the clashes and express their frustration in "other peaceful and constructive ways of expressing oneself."

"The time of violence must give way to that of mourning, dialogue and reconstruction," he said in a statement posted on social media on behalf of Les Bleus.

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