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Tense calm returns to trouble-hit Paris suburbs

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Tense calm returns to trouble-hit Paris suburbs


Relative calm has returned to the suburbs of northern Paris, with massive police reinforcements deployed to prevent a third night of unrest. Some isolated arson attacks were reported but there was no repeat of earlier rioting. In Toulouse however a number of cars were torched and there was a fire in a library.

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon visited emergency services at the sharp end in the capital. More than 120 police officers have been injured since Sunday when youths first went on the rampage. The violence started after two teenagers on a motorcycle died in a collision with a police car.

Fillon said: “I have come to support the police officers, fire crews, doctors, all those who, in difficult conditions for three days, have been working for a return to calm in these areas. They need to be supported. They should know that the government is totally determined to restore order as quickly as possible.”

France fears a repeat of the riots that shook the country in 2005. They were also triggered by two teenage deaths. Amid tributes paid to the pair who died at the weekend, authorities have rejected claims by some locals that police fled the scene of the accident. Despite the government’s determination to take a tough line, tensions could remain high for some time to come.

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