The clashes came just days before France lifted a national coronavirus curfew that has been in place for more than eight months.
The clashes erupted Friday evening in the small town of Redon in Brittany. About 1,500 people gathered in a field to participate in an unauthorized outdoor rave.
The situation quickly deteriorated after around 400 police arrived at the scene to evacuate the party.
Partygoers threw Molotov cocktails, metal balls and other objects at security forces, said local prefect and government official Emmanuel Berthier. Police responded by indicting groups of participants and firing tear gas.
Several people were injured, including five officers, Berthier said.
One of the injured was a 22-year-old man who lost his hand. He would have picked up an object which then exploded, said the head of the regional gendarmerie Pierre Sauvegrain on France-Info radio.
It took more than seven hours for officers to calm the situation down, with authorities still clearing the grounds on Saturday morning.
Five people were taken into custody, according to the AFP news agency.
What was the reaction?
An investigation has been opened into how the 22-year-old ended up losing his hand, as well as what led to the events of the night, Berthier said.
He also accused the revelers of “extreme” and “inexcusable” violence against the officers.
The curfew will be lifted
The illegal Friday night party and resulting violence were the last to rock the region.
An unauthorized New Year’s Eve rave in the same area drew around 2,500 people and led to several arrests.
The clashes also come two days before France lifts its nationwide nighttime curfews. Although implemented to curb the spread of the coronavirus, they have been a source of frustration for some young people.
rs / jlw (AP, AFP, dpa)