Four officers were left injured and at least a dozen cars set ablaze after a second night of violence in a Parisian suburb. Youths fought running battles with riot police and petrol-bombed public buildings in the Montfermeil area of the French capital.
At day-light, Interior Minister Nicholas Sarkozy visited the scene, expressing his support for the security forces. Addressing the police, he said that more than 100 youths attacked, saying they were masked, armed and determined. He said no one can deny the evidence, that it was obviously pre-meditated.
Sarkozy is likely to be a presidential hopeful in next year’s election, and is preparing to present a new law on curbing delinquency to parliament in June.
He wants to give more power to mayors to deal with troublesome teenagers after riots by disillusioned youths shocked the country last year.
The current violence began on Monday after the arrest of a teenager suspected of attacking a bus driver. The incident was witnessed by a local government official. Angry youths then began burning cars and around 150 of them surrounded the town hall and pelted it with bricks.