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Violence as France marks riot anniversary

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Violence as France marks riot anniversary


There have been several violent incidents in the outskirts of Paris, one year on from the unrest in France’s suburbs. Police sources describe the situation as “lively, but nothing like the riots of last year”. Around 20 cars were torched in the Seine-Saint-Denis department just north of the capital, which is about normal for a weekend.

While there have been no direct clashes between youths and riot police, in some isolated cases petrol bombs were thrown. Two buses were burned in the Paris suburb of Blanc-Mesnil. “Four young men boarded the bus and made everyone get off,” one eyewitness said. “They hit a woman and dragged the bus driver out by his tie. Then they put petrol in a bottle, lit a cloth and set the bus alight.”

4,000 extra police have been deployed across France to prevent a repeat of the riots that started exactly a year ago. The trouble lasted three weeks and saw 3,000 arrests. More than 10,000 cars and 300 buildings were fire-bombed.

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