There has been an 18th night of unrest in France but there are clear indications that the country’s worst rioting since the 1960s is nearing an end.
By 4am overnight, 271 vehicles had been burned across the country as a whole, there were 112 arrests. That was a drop on the previous night when there 315 vehicles burned and 161 people arrested. Some of the worst incidents were in Toulouse’s Reynerie district, where rioters rammed a car into a primary school before setting the building ablaze. Cars were also set alight on several housing estates in the city’s suburbs. The French government today will consider whether to extend state of emergency powers introduced last Wednesday. The EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso, meanwhile, says the EU has offered France 50 million euros to help the country tackle problems in the riot-hit suburbs. Aside Toulouse, the mood is tense in Lyon, where rioters clashed with police in the city centre for the first time on Saturday evening. A weekend curfew remained in place in the city deterring youths from being outside without adult supervision late at night. Despite that, two cars were set alight in the suburb of Venissieux and youths threw a Molotov cocktail at a mosque. Lyon’s public transport network has closed from 7 every evening since last Wednesday.