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French judge to decide on suspected arsonists' fate

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French judge to decide on suspected arsonists' fate


Four youths could face charges of arson and injury in connection with the torching of a bus in southern France last weekend. None of the teenagers, aged between 15 and 17, have admitted causing the fire which gutted the vehicle in the suburbs of Marseille on Saturday severely injuring one of the passengers.

The attack was the latest in a string of similar assaults against buses and cars nationwide as France marks a year since violent riots brought chaos to its poor suburbs.

Interior minister and presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy has said said the arsonists should be severely punished whatever their age, adding that “minors between the ages of 16 and 18 who repeatedly commit offenses should be punished as if they were adults”.

Twenty-six year old Mama Galledou, who got caught in the burning bus, suffered burns to 70 percent of her body. She remains in a critical condition in hospital. If she dies, the suspected arsonists could face charges of manslaughter.

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