Officials said on Monday eight people, including a riot policeman, were injured, about 50 cars were damaged or set alight and some shops were damaged in the town centre in Sunday night's rioting.

Angry young members of the city's North African community were reacting to the fatal shooting of a man of Moroccan origin on Sunday evening, police said.

"It's a completely irrational flaring up of violence," Henri Castets, director of public security, said on Monday.

Tensions have been high between North Africans and Gypsies in the city since the 22 May lynching of a young Moroccan, Mohamed Bey Bachir, by a group of Gypsies.

On Saturday, more than 3500 people demonstrated in a tense atmosphere in memory of Bachir.

Judicial police in Perpignan have opened a murder inquiry into the latest killing.