French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has called an urgent meeting to assess the level of safety on the country’s public transport system. Dozens of extra riot police have been sent to Marseille, where a bus was torched by vandals, leaving a female passenger with 60 percent burns. “The youngsters who did this are still at large. So we are invoking our right to stop working if we don’t feel safe on the job.” said the drivers’ spokesman.
The 26-year old victim, who is of Senegalese origin, is being treated in hospital. Doctors say she is hovering between life and death. The attack has stoked fears of more violence in cities across France. It comes as the country marks the first anniversary of three weeks of riots which spread through severely marginalised communities.