President Emmanuel Macron has described the deadly crackdown by Paris police on a peaceful protest by Algerians as "unforgivable for the republic", going further than his predecessors in admitting crimes which French authorities had covered up for decades., reports RFI.
Macron told relatives and activists on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the bloodshed that "crimes" were committed on the night of 17 October, 1961, under the command of Paris police chief Maurice Papon.
He acknowledged that several dozen protesters had been killed, "their bodies thrown into the River Seine" and he paid tribute to the memory of the victims.
While the precise number killed has never been established, in-depth research by leading historians suggests at least 200 were shot dead.
Macron "recognised the facts: that the crimes committed that night under Maurice Papon are unforgivable for the republic," the Elysee said, adding that "this tragedy was long hushed-up, denied or concealed".