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French arson attacks hit rural north

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French arson attacks hit rural north


Burned-out buildings are not the image you would normally conjure up when you think of rural Normandy. But these are strange times in France and nightly riots are spreading. Saturday night saw the biggest trail of destruction yet.

Previously quiet towns are now being drawn into the mayhem – with schools, gyms and shops all going up in flames. The number of vehicles burned out on Saturday night reached a record of 1,300. While the poor suburbs of Paris have been in the thick of the turmoil from the start, cars are now being set on fire in the city centre. Authorities say the rolling riots are being organised via the Internet and mobile phones. Arrests are being made but the disturbances go on. After ten nights of unrest, those living in the trouble spots are feeling increasingly exasperated. Residents know it could be their car next, their school, their place of work. The deaths of two teenagers prompted this explosion of urban violence. It is still far from clear when or how it will end.
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