French President Emmanuel Macron has leant his support for the release of secret military files concerning the mysterious crash over the Meditarranean Sea in September 1968 of an Air France Caravelle plane as it descended for landing at Nice airport, and which victims' families have long suspected was the result of a missile fired by a French warship during a military exercise.
Protest organisers said up to 25,000 people attended the demonstration in the island's capital Ajaccio ahead of Tuesday's presidential visit.
President's comments came after one of the largest prayer halls in French island's capital Ajaccio suffered major damage in a fire.
Since last Friday, following an attack on firefighters and police by a group of youths on a housing estate in Ajaccio, the capital of the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, vigilante mobs chanting anti-Arab and anti-Muslim slogans have reigned terror on the neighbourhood, seeking out the perpetrators and ransacking a Muslim prayer room where they attempted to burn copies of the Koran. Despite an official ban on public demonstrations until January 4th in an effort to reduce the tensions, several hundred marchers on Sunday again tried to occupy the estate which is home to a large North African population. Rachida El Azzouzi and Ellen Salvi report on the events this weekend and why, as the mayor of Ajaccio admits, they came as no surprise.
After youths on a housing estate in the French Mediterranean island ambushed firefighters and police, a protest gathering degenerated into violence.